The Q3 Labour Market Report's advance release on Friday (26 October) by Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed better employment numbers and stable unemployment rates, showing further signs of improvement from the market situation in Q2 2018.

Human Resources highlights the three key takeaways of the report below:

#1: Retrenchments were lower than in Q2

The number of retrenchments was 2,500 in Q3, down 17% from 3,030 in Q2 and 26% from 3,400 in Q3 2017. The report also stated that total retrenchment numbers for the first three quarters of this year was lower than that of the same periods in 2016 and 2017.

Of the Q3 2018 numbers, 60% and 32% of retrenchments were made up by the services and manufacturing sectors respectively, while the remaining 8% was made up by the construction sector.

#2: Employment growth more than doubled that in Q2

A quicker hiring process by employers has resulted in a growth of total employments, excluding foreign domestic workers (FDWs) by 15,200 - more than twice the employment of 6,500 observed in Q2. This growth was also significantly higher than that in 2017, where total employment was -4,100.

An increase in employment in the manufacturing sector was seen, following 15 consecutive quarters of decline. The services sector, which includes areas such as social and personal services, and professional services excluding FDWs also saw growth with 12,300 employments.

However, the construction sector saw a decline by 400, a clear reflection of the weakness in public sector construction activities.

#3: Citizen and resident unemployment rates remained stable

The unemployment rates of citizens and residents were stable at 3% and 2.9% respectively from June 2018 to September 2018. There was a slight increase in the overall numbers, from 2% to 2.1%. These rates were either the same as or lower than those observed in September last year - an overall of 2.1%, citizen rates of 3.2% and resident rates of 3.1%.

Despite these, numbers were still a little better than those seen in March this year and this indicates the continued inflow of job seekers entering the labour market.

In terms of unemployment numbers, a total of 59,100 citizens were unemployed in September 2018, up by 100 from that in the June 2018. Similarly, about 67,000 residents were unemployed last month, up from the 66,600 reflected in June 2018.

Take a look at the following infographic for an illustration of the numbers:

Labour Market Advance Release Third Quarter 2018


Infographic: Ministry of Manpower

Lead image: StockUnlimited