In Singapore, the average total weekly paid hours worked per employee was 45.6 hours in September 2016, unchanged from the previous quarter and a year ago. Paid overtime hours per employee was also broadly unchanged at 3.3 hours, similar to levels observed since 2015.
In Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Market Report Third Quarter 2016, workers in construction (52.2) and manufacturing (48.9) consistently had among the highest weekly paid hours worked, in tandem with longer overtime hours (7.9 and 5.9 respectively).
Among other highlights of the report, the unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2016 (Q3) remained broadly similar among residents (3% in June 2016 to 2.9% in September 2016), but more job seekers were taking a longer time to find work. The long-term unemployed form close to one-third (30%) of the unemployed residents, up from 23% a year ago.
There were 2,700 fewer workers in the workforce in Q3 2016, as total employment contracted primarily due to construction and manufacturing, affecting mainly work permit holders.
Redundancies were lower in Q3 (4,220) compared to Q2 2016 (4,800) the previous quarter, though it remained higher than a year ago (3,460). The bulk of redundancies were from services (59%), mainly in professional services (16%), financial services (15%) and wholesale trade (10%).
Overall, in the first nine months of 2016, 13,730 workers were laid off, higher than the same period in 2015 (10,220), and the highest since 2009 (21,210).
Based on Central Provident Fund records, 49% of residents made redundant in the second quarter of 2016 re-entered employment by September 2016, edging up from June 2016 (45%), after a general downtrend since December 2014 (59%).
Job seekers continued to outnumber job openings. The seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons did edge lower to 91 job openings per 100 job seekers in September 2016, from 93 in June 2016.
After declining for six consecutive quarters, the seasonally adjusted number of job vacancies rose slightly from 49,400 in June 2016 to 50,800 in September 2016, but remained lower than the same period last year (56,500).
Recruitment and resignation activity remained muted. The seasonally adjusted recruitment rate trended down for the second consecutive quarter to 2.1% in the third quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, resignation rate held steady at 1.8%, similar to the first two quarters of 2016.