The unemployment rate in Singapore remained low and stable amid the tight labour market in the first half of 2014, said Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Monday.
The seasonally-adjusted citizen unemployment rate was 2.9 percent in June, and the resident long-term unemployment remained amongst the lowest globally, at 0.6 percent.
Total employment growth in the first half moderated to 52,200 excluding Foreign Domestic Workers, down from 61,100 in the same period last year. This was largely driven by the slowdown in foreign employment growth, which was less than half for the same period in 2013.
Foreign employment growth continued to shrink in the first half, with a lower on-year total employment growth at 3.8 percent in June, compared to 4.2 percent a year ago.
Local employment growth remained strong, which recorded a 4.2 on-year growth in June, supported by the increased labour force participation rate of women and older residents, MOM said.
Labour productivity fell by 0.3 percent year-on-year for the first half, an improvement from the 1.3-percent decline in the same period last year but still lag behind the positive 0.8- percent growth in the second half of 2013. Domestic-oriented services continued to lag in productivity growth, while the Manufacturing sector sustained positive growth.
Overall, MOM said that the Singapore labour market is expected to remain tight for the rest of 2014. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) expects the Singapore economy to grow by 2.5 to 3.5 percent in 2014, with growth in the second half likely supported by externally-oriented sectors such as wholesale trade and finance and insurance.