Singapore’s jobless rate fell to a five-year low last quarter as companies hired more local workers after the government tightened the inflow of foreign labor.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 1.8 percent from 1.9 percent in the third quarter, the Ministry of Manpower said in a statement today. The median estimate of nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 1.9 percent rate. The economy added 44,500 jobs last quarter, compared with 26,200 in the previous period.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has raised foreign-worker levies and salary thresholds as part of measures to reduce the economy’s reliance on overseas labor after the island’s population jumped by more than 1.1 million since mid-2004. The clampdown has led to manpower shortages and rising job vacancies, damping economic growth as companies seeking to expand faced difficulty in hiring.
“Putting the rise in the job vacancy rate that we saw last year plus the foreign manpower tightening that is currently in place, it looks like we could expect the already tight employment conditions to get a little bit tighter,” said Selena Ling, a Singapore-based economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. “It’s probably going to hit the services side harder.”
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
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“Last week I spoke with Karen Cariss, CEO of PageUp People, after she attended the recent Human Capital Summit in Singapore” writes Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith. (Choosen excerpts by JMM to follow) How similar or different are the human capital issues business is discussing in Asia Pacific’s high growth markets to those in the U.S., Europe or … Continue reading »