Total employment grows for first time since COVID-19 pandemic: Advance estimates

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Employment in Singapore grew in the first quarter of 2021 for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, advance estimates released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed on Wednesday (Apr 28).

Resident employment grew at a moderated pace but outstripped a smaller decline in non-resident employment, said MOM in a media release. As a result, total employment saw “modest expansion” in the first three months of 2021, after four quarters of decline

Calling this a “significant turn”, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that it suggests that confidence among employers is returning.

“These advance estimates are very encouraging, indeed, that the economy, and the job market, in particular, continued to recover. And the recovery was of a good enough pace that for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2019 (that) overall employment expanded,” said Mrs Teo after a visit to the NTUC Learning Hub at Bras Basah on Wednesday.

The number of retrenchments also declined for the second consecutive quarter, to a level usually observed in 2018 and 2019.

Meanwhile, unemployment rates remained elevated but eased further in March.


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