Labour Market, Second Quarter 2011
- Total employment grew by 24,800 in the second quarter of 2011. Although the growth was lower than in the preceding quarter (28,300), it is comparable to the second quarter last year (24,900).
- Services continued to generate the bulk of the employment gains, though the pace of job creation has eased. The sector added 20,200 workers in the second quarter, down from the gains of 26,500 in the previous quarter and 25,400 in the second quarter of 2010. Sustained by increased building activities in the public sector, the construction workforce expanded by 3,600, higher than the 1,500 increase in the last quarter. Manufacturing employment rose by 800, up from the flat gains (100) in the previous quarter.
- With the slower employment growth, the overall unemployment rate increased from a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in March 2011 to 2.1% in June 2011. Over the same period, the unemployment rate for residents rose from 2.7% to 3.0%. This brought the unemployment rates to around the levels in 2010, after declining in March 2011. There were 81,200 unemployed residents in June 2011. The seasonally adjusted figure was 62,600, up from 57,000 in March but lower than 65,000 in June 2010.
- Long-term unemployment improved. Nearly one in five (19%) or 15,500 of the unemployed residents in June 2011 had been looking for work for at least 25 weeks, lower than the 20% or 16,500 a year ago and 22% or 25,800 in June 2009. These long-term unemployed residents formed 0.7% of the resident labour force, down from 0.8% in June 2010 and the high of 1.3% in June 2009 during the recession.
- Redundancies fell from the last quarter. The number of workers made redundant decreased from 2,750 in the first quarter of 2011 to 2,020 in the second quarter of 20111. This was driven mainly by the decline in manufacturing (from 1,410 to 620) which more than offset the increase in construction (from 290 to 380). Layoffs in services (1,020) were comparable to the previous quarter (1,050).
- CPF records showed that 57% of residents laid off in the first quarter of 2011 secured employment by June 2011. This rate of re-entry into employment within six months of redundancy rose for the second consecutive quarter from 53% in March 2011 and 51% in December 2010.
- Job vacancies rose over the quarter by 13% to 55,900 in June 20111. After adjusting for seasonality, the increase moderated to 2.4%. With more seeking employment, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons eased to 116 openings for every 100 job seekers in June 2011, after the sharp increase from 104 in December 2010 to 139 openings per 100 job seekers in March 2011.
- The average monthly recruitment rate eased slightly in the second quarter of 2011. The seasonally adjusted rate was 2.7%, down slightly from 2.8% in the previous quarter1. On the other hand, the average resignation rate held steady at a seasonally adjusted 2.0%. The non-seasonally adjusted recruitment and resignation rates were 2.8% and 2.1% respectively, both down by 0.1%-point from a year ago.
- Labour productivity slipped by 2.5% over the year in the second quarter, after increasing by 5.4% in the first quarter this year. This was due to the sharp slowdown in GDP growth from a high base in the second quarter last year.
- Nominal average monthly earnings rose over the year by 6.0% in the second quarter of 2011. This was lower than the growth of 8.5% in the preceding quarter, but similar to the 5.8% recorded in the second quarter of 2010. Weighed down by inflation, real average monthly earnings rose by 1.3%, lower than the growth of 3.2% in the first quarter of 2011 and 2.6% in the second quarter of 2010.
- Reflecting the decline in labour productivity and rising labour costs arising from the tight labour market, the unit labour cost (ULC) rose over the year by 10% in the second quarter, compared with more moderate increases of 1.8% to 3.5% in the preceding three quarters.
- In summary, amid the moderation in employment creation, the unemployment rate increased in June 2011 to around the levels of a year ago. Nevertheless, layoffs remained low and job vacancies stayed healthy in the second quarter. With the sharp slowdown in output growth, labour productivity declined in the second quarter for the first time in two years. This, coupled with rising labour cost amid the tight labour market, resulted in an increase in the unit labour cost in the second quarter.
For More Information
- The report is available online at http://www.mom.gov.sg/mrsd/publication
1Data pertain to private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees and the public sector.
*Looking for a job? Visit our Singapore Jobs Page