Singapore's unemployment rate edged up to a seasonally adjusted 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, due to increased layoffs by firms towards the end of last year, the Ministry of Manpower said in a report on Monday.
The preliminary findings showed that an estimated 59,100 residents, including 52,800 Singapore citizens were unemployed in March 2012.
Total employment grew by 27,400 in the first quarter. The increase was weaker than the seasonal high of 37,600 in the fourth quarter and the 28,300 in the first quarter of 2011. The bulk of the employment gains came from services, which added 19,800 workers.
Construction continued to register strong increase of 8,000, while manufacturing employment declined by 500.
An estimated 2,700 workers were made redundant in the first quarter of 2012. This was lower than the 3,250 workers affected in the preceding quarter, but close to the 2,750 laid off in the first quarter of 2011, the Ministry said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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