State of the Singaporean job market in 1q2016

Preliminary estimates of the Singapore job market show that total unemployment did not change between December 2015 and March 2016.

When looking at it differently, however, you see that total unemployment declined for both residents and citizens.

Overall employment in the Singaporean labour force grew in Q1 of 2016, although the growth was slower than previous quarters.

While the number of people laid off was lower than previous quarters, it was still not as low as a year ago.


singapore job labour market 1q2016


Looking into the specifics of these numbers, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged in March 2016, sitting at 1.9 percent.

However, unemployment rates did decrease both among citizens (3 percent to 2.6 percent) and residents (2.9 percent to 2.7 percent), when looking at the changes between December 2015 and March 2016.

As on March 2016, it is estimated that upwards of 60,400 residents, 50,800 of them Singaporean citizens, were unemployed. This is lower than the figures in December 2015 (64,600 and 57,900).


When looking at total employment, it is estimated that there has been an increase of 11,400 jobs in Q1 of 2016. While this is lower than the growth of Q4 in 2015, it is still a reversal in the decline of -6,100 that occurred in Q1 of 2015.

The increase in jobs was largely due to the service industry. However, the growth in the industry was slower than in previous quarter (21,500).

In comparison, the manufacturing industry continued it’s decline, and the number of jobs fell by -2,000. This was the sixth consecutive quarter in a row, where the number of jobs reduced.

Conversely, employment in the construction industry experienced an increase during Q1 2016 (1,600), as compared to 900 in the previous quarter. This boost was a direct result of the demand for construction activities in both the public and private sectors.


Overall, March 2016 saw a total employment number of 3,667,600, which is 1.4 percent higher than a year prior. The number of jobs grew faster than the 0.9 percent pace in December 2015.

Lastly, preliminary data showed that over 4,600 workers found that their positions become redundant during Q1 of 2016. This is lower than Q4 2015 (5,270).

All in all, services saw the most redundancies. The sector, as a result, had to lay off more workers than in the previous quarter, seeing an increase from 2,360 to 2,500.

However, redundancies fell in both the construction (520 to 300) and manufacturing (2,480 to 1,800) industries.

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