Singapore - Even as jobs were created in 2008 Q4, a total of 7,000 workers were laid off, with most of the retrenchments coming from the manufacturing and services industry.
In latest figures by Ministry of Manpower, the manufacturing sector shed 3,700 jobs in the fourth quarter. This is an increase from 2008 Q3 where only 1,709 manufacturing employees lost their jobs. The service sector also lost 3,200 jobs - a dramatic jump over the 562 jobs lost in 2008 Q3.
These retrenchments have pushed Singapore's overall unemployment rate to 2.3% in December 2008, up 0.2% from September's 2.1% unemployment figure.
However, preliminary figures also showed that there were 26,900 jobs created in Q4. This number reflects a slowdown in job creations, compared to 55,700 jobs created in Q3 2008.