In preliminary data released on October 24, Singapore’s labour market in the third quarter of 2019 painted a mixed picture.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rates inched up over the quarter in September 2019 with an overall increase from 2.2 per cent to 2.3 per cent.
However, the growth of Singapore’s total employment was higher than the previous quarter and a year ago. “This points to possible mismatches in the labour market,” said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Total employment (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers) grew by 22,400 in the third quarter of 2019, higher than in the previous quarter (6,200) and a year ago (16,700).
Employment growth was broad-based across the main industries.
Meanwhile, the number of retrenchments rose over the quarter, from 2,320 in Q2 to 2,900 in Q3. However, the figure remained comparable to a year ago (2,860). Retrenchments rose in manufacturing, construction and services over the quarter.
In a press release, MOM urged employers to work with the government to train workers with skills gaps. “We also encourage jobseekers to be open to opportunities in other sectors and occupations beyond what they are familiar with,” the release said.