The ministry releases an advance report of the labour market for 2017
In 2017, total employment has declined for the first time since 2003, reported MOM in its labour market report. This was largely due to a continued decrease in work permit holders in the construction and marine sectors.
The annual average unemployment rate for the whole of 2017 was also higher than that in 2016, though it did pick up in the last quarter of 2017.
However, it is showing signs of improvement, recording a growth of an estimated 21,300 or 0.9% – nearly double the growth in 2016. The increase was seen mostly in the services sectors, including transportation and storage, finance and insurance, as well as administrative and support services.
The number of retrenchments in 2017 (14,340) was also significantly lower as compared to 2016 (19,170).
The report also stated higher income growth at the median for the last five years, supported by initiatives to raise the incomes of low-wage workers.
MOM stated that job-skills mismatch continues to be a growing structural challenge due to ongoing restructuring of the economy.