Singapore’s overall unemployment rate crept higher to 2.8 per cent in July, rising 0.1 percentage points from the previous month. It’s also the first time unemployment rates rose in 10 months. This reflects a dip in demand for workers as sectors like food and beverage and retail trade were impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.
Resident unemployment rate – which covers Singaporeans and Permanent Residents – rose by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 per cent, while citizen unemployment rate climbed 0.2 percentage points to 3.9 per cent. This translates to 87,300 residents unemployed in July, as well as 77,200 citizens.
“Unemployment rates rose in July 2021 for the first time in 10 months, amid tighter COVID-19 restrictions during Phase 2 Heightened Alert,” Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said in a Facebook post.
“As Singapore moves towards becoming a COVID-resilient nation, measures will be relaxed further as more sectors of our economy reopen. This will help boost manpower demand and allow our labour market to continue recovering,” Minister Tan said, noting that the country will continue to monitor the unemployment rates closely.
“At the same time, I encourage companies to constantly pursue innovation and review their business operations to meet the changing needs of the economy.”
The Manpower Ministry (MOM) and Workforce Singapore will continue to support jobseekers and employers to match workers to the available opportunities, Minister Tan added. Jobseekers can tap on initiatives such as the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package to be placed into jobs and skills opportunities.
Singapore remains committed towards ensuring that businesses and workers are well-equipped to face future challenges, the Minister said.
Economists note that the situation is likely temporary, and that the jobs market is set to recover as Singapore reopens.
“The jobs market will likely recover with the recent reopening…The latest Markit employment Purchasing Managers’ Index in August suggests that firms are hiring but are facing difficulties in filling vacancies,” said Maybank Kim Eng economist Chua Hak Bin.
Featured Image Credit: Mothership