Singapore’s overall unemployment rate rose to 3.4 percent in August, climbing past the high of 3.3 percent recorded in September 2009 during the global financial crisis.
But August’s rate is lower than the highest overall unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, recorded in September 2003 during the SARS outbreak.
The latest job situation report from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday (Oct 7) showed the overall unemployment rate for August climbed 0.4 percentage points from July.
MOM said it has started to track the unemployment rate monthly to “monitor the labor situation more closely”. Unemployment rates are usually released quarterly.
Overall Unemployment rate breakdown
The citizen unemployment rate rose to 4.6 percent in August, up by 0.3 percentage points from July. It is lower than the 4.9 percent recorded in September 2009.
The resident unemployment rate – of citizens and permanent residents – rose to 4.5 percent in August from 4.1 percent in July, but remained lower than the 4.9 percent recorded in September 2009.
“We observe that while monthly the overall unemployment rate has so far generally remained lower than past recessionary highs, it has been gradually rising,” said the ministry in a press release.
“It remains to be seen if unemployment will rise more quickly in the coming months,” it added.
“We cannot tell at this point, whether in the coming months the unemployment rate will uptick at a faster rate or will it stay around about the same,” said Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo.
Despite the “slight uptick” in the overall unemployment rate, jobs are still available in this same period, she noted.
“We also saw the ability to pull together more opportunities. And the vast majority of these opportunities that have been pulled together remain, still, in terms of jobs. And of the 60,000 or so long-term jobs available, a large part of it is still coming from the private sector.”