Singapore: Unemployment highest level in decade

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JAKARTA, Indonesia

Singapore’s unemployment rate has risen to its highest level in a decade, while the number of job vacancies is on its lowest – a fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its Labour Market Report First Quarter 2020 on Monday said that the overall unemployment rate climbed to 2.4% in the first quarter of the year (Q1).

Likewise, the unemployment rate among Singaporean citizens rose from 3.3% to 3.5%.

MOM said retrenchments rose from 2,670 to 3,220 during Q1, largely due to sectoral downturn or poor business.

As many as 1,537 local employees were affected by business closures in the same period. The number has doubled compared to the previous quarter (628 employees).

An additional 4,190 employees were placed on shorter work hours or temporary lay-off, a five-fold increase from the previous quarter “but still below the high registered during the Global Financial Crisis (1Q 2009: 26,530).”

Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted number of job vacancies, 46,300, declined to its lowest since September 2010 (44,900). Declines were most notable in food & beverage services and arts, entertainment and recreation.

It warned that “labour market conditions are likely to worsen in the upcoming quarter, given the sharp fall in hiring demand globally as well as in Singapore.”

Based on US-based Johns Hopkins University data, Singapore remains the country with the highest coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia with 40,818 infections, registering 26 deaths and 29,589 recoveries.

*Writing by Maria Elisa Hospita from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language service

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