Singapore unemployment rates fall for fourth straight month in February

SINGAPORE’S unemployment rates fell for the fourth straight month in February, though Manpower Minister Josephine Teo cautioned that further declines would become harder to achieve.

The overall unemployment rate fell to 3 per cent, from 3.2 per cent in January. Resident unemployment declined to 4.1 per cent from 4.3 per cent previously, while citizen unemployment declined to 4.3 per cent, from 4.5 per cent before.

In February, 96,800 residents were unemployed, of whom 85,900 were citizens. This is down from 101,900 unemployed residents in January, including 89,300 citizens.

In a Facebook post, Mrs Teo said: “Although the unemployment rates remain elevated and have not yet returned to pre-Covid levels, we are seeing good progress with jobs growth.”

She noted that in the first three months of the Jobs Growth Incentive, some 27,000 employers collectively hired 130,000 locals.

But Mrs Teo also warned that “with every dip in the unemployment rate, the next drop will likely be harder to achieve”.

Further declines in unemployment will depend on whether hiring demand is sustained and employers are willing “to look beyond candidates with familiar profiles”, she said. “The remaining jobseekers too may need to consider job roles or sectors they previously did not, and be willing to invest time to reskill.”

With economic agencies working to boost economic activity in various sectors, the Manpower Ministry will continue to monitor unemployment rates and – together with Workforce Singapore – work closely with the agencies to help Singaporeans access the jobs created, said Mrs Teo.