Singapore’s overall unemployment rate rose to 2.8% in July, up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month. It is also the first time unemployment rates have risen in ten months. This reflects a decline in worker demand, as sectors such as food and beverage and retail trade were affected by Covid-19 restrictions.
The unemployment rate for residents – which covers Singapore residents and permanent residents – rose 0.2 percentage points to 3.7%, while the citizen unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 3 , 9%. This translates into 87,300 unemployed residents in July, as well as 77,200 citizens.
“Unemployment rates rose in July 2021 for the first time in ten months, amid stricter restrictions on COVID-19 during the intensified Phase 2 alert,” said Labor Minister Tan See Leng in a Facebook post.
“As Singapore moves towards becoming a COVID-resistant nation, measures will relax even as more sectors of our economy reopen. This will help increase labor demand and allow our market labor continues to recover, ”said Minister Tan, who noted that the country will continue to closely monitor unemployment rates.
“At the same time, I encourage companies to constantly seek innovation and review their business operations to meet the changing needs of the economy.”
The Ministry of Labor (MOM) and Workforce Singapore will continue to support jobseekers and employers to match workers with the opportunities available, Minister Tan added. Job seekers can take advantage of initiatives such as the SGUnited Jobs and Skills package to place them in job opportunities and skills.
Singapore remains committed to ensuring that companies and workers are well equipped to meet future challenges, the minister said.
Economists point out that the situation is likely to be temporary and that the labor market will recover when Singapore reopens.
“The job market is likely to recover with the recent reopening … Markit’s latest index of job purchasing managers in August suggests that companies are hiring but struggling to fill vacancies,” he said. Maybank economist Kim Eng, Chua Hak Bin.
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