Around 4,600 workers were made redundant in the first quarter (Q1) of 2016 in Singapore, down from 5,370 in Q4 2015 - but still higher than a year ago (3,500), amid ongoing business restructuring.
These layoffs were driven primarily by the services (2,500), manufacturing (1,800), and construction (300) sectors, although manufacturing and construction reported a lower number of layoffs than Q4 2015.
Ministry of Manpower's Labour Market Advance Release First Quarter 2016 also noted a lower q-o-q unemployment rate for residents (2.9% to 2.7%) and citizens (3.0% to 2.6%), even as the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.9%.
Therefore, in March 2016, an estimated 60,400 residents, including 50,800 Singapore citizens were unemployed - lower than 64,600 and 57,900 in December 2015.
The Ministry estimates total employment to have increased by 11,400 in the first quarter of 2016, slower than than the seasonally high growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 (16,100).
However, this marked a positive y-o-y trend, reversing the from decline (-6,100) in Q1 2015.
The employment increase in Q1 2016 was mainly driven by services (11,900), though growth has slowed from the previous quarter (21,500).
Employment in construction grew (1,600) while manufacturing employment continued to decline (-2,000) for the sixth consecutive quarter.
In March 2016, total employment reached 3,667,600, 1.4% higher than a year ago. This was faster than the increase of 0.9% in December 2015.