Singapore’s unemployment rate up by 0.2% in July for first time in 10 months

SINGAPORE – For the first time in 10 months, Singapore’s resident and citizen unemployment rates saw a slight increase in July, rising 0.2 per cent each, following tightened Covid-19 restrictions under phase two (heightened alert).

Figures from the Ministry of Manpower showed that the resident unemployment rate, which covers Singapore citizens and permanent residents, rose from 3.5 to 3.7 per cent, while unemployment among Singapore citizens rose from 3.7 to 3.9 per cent.

The overall unemployment rate in July was 2.8 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent in June.

This likely reflected “a dip in demand for manpower in affected sectors such as food and beverage (F&B) and retail trade”, wrote Manpower Minister Tan See Leng in a Facebook post on Monday (Sept 6).

The phase two (heightened alert) period lasted from July 22 to Aug 18, to contain the then growing Covid-19 clusters linked to the Jurong Fishery Port. This resulted in measures such as the cessation of dining-in at all F&B establishments and maximum social gathering group sizes reduced from five people to two.

Said Mr Tan: “We will continue to monitor the unemployment rates closely. The Singapore Ministry of Manpower will also provide a more comprehensive update in our Labour Market Report later this month.”

In his post, Mr Tan encouraged companies to “constantly pursue innovation and review their business operations to meet the changing needs of the economy” and job seekers to tap on initiatives such as placements under the the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.

The package was introduced last May to provide job, traineeship, and skills training opportunities for Singaporeans.

He added that as Singapore moves towards becoming a Covid-19 resilient nation, measures will be relaxed further as more sectors of the economy reopen.

“This will help boost manpower demand and allow our labour market to continue recovering,” he said.

Job seekers can find out more about Workforce Singapore’s (WSG) programmes and career advisory and matching services at the My Careers Future website, or call the WSG hotline at 6883 5885.

Upcoming outreach events organised by WSG and NTUC’s e2i can be found at the WSG website and the e2i website.