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The total employment rate in Singapore grew by 129,100 people last year, a slight increase of 0.1%, or about 6,500 people, from 2011.
However, if the figures exclude construction and domestic workers, total employment only grew by 3.3% or 86,700, the Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Market Report 2012 found.
Foreigners still account for 33.6% of the employment population in Singapore, an increase from 32.8% reported in December 2011.
However, there was slower employment growth for foreign workers last year, a result of tighter regulations surrounding the hiring of non-locals.
Foreign employment growth fell from 7.6% in 2011 to 5.9% last year. The figures were even lower when excluding construction and domestic workers at 4.6% in 2012, compared to 9.4% in the previous year.
Hiring activity was strongest in the last quarter of 2012, with 44,000 jobs created during the festive season. This is significantly higher than preceding quarter, where 26,200 jobs were created.
The construction and manufacturing sectors also saw high employment growth, with 39,100 and 11,400 jobs created respectively in 2012.
Unemployment levels remained at 3% of locals and 2% overall in 2012, with degree holders making up the majority (32%) of those jobless. But the unemployment rate for those below 30 has improved from 4.3% to 5.1% in 2012.
While redundancy levels rose from 9,990 in 2011 to 11,010 last year, the figures are still below recession levels. The median income for locals has also seen a growth of 1.2% last year, compared to 1% in 2011.