Singapore's unemployment rate drops to pre-COVID levels

Employers and employees are lauded for showing great resilience amid the pandemic

Singapore's unemployment rate drops to pre-COVID levels

Singapore's unemployment rate continued going down in February, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), moving to levels reported before the pandemic. 

MOM said overall unemployment rate went down from 2.3% to 2.1%, the resident unemployment rate fell from 3.1% to three per cent, while citizen unemployment rate dipped from 3.3% to 3.2%.

This means that 71,700 residents are unemployed in February 2022, according to the ministry, including 65,000 citizens.

Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng, commenting on the latest report, said that the resident unemployment rate is already "on par with the quarterly average in 2018 and 2019."

"With the latest month's decline, the unemployment rates are now back to around pre-COVID levels," said MOM in its report.

The ministry added that it is expecting the unemployment rates to further fluctuate around this level depending on the prevailing economic situation.

"The high number of vacancies could bring rates down further, but at the same time, the downside risks in the global economy have increased – protracted supply chain disruptions and higher energy prices could affect business sentiments and profitability," it said in the report.

Read more: MOM 'has no plans' to review WFH legislations

Meanwhile, Tan lauded the efforts of employers and employees in showing great resilience.

"Employers are looking beyond conventional 'plug-and-play' options for hiring, and employees have been more open to new opportunities and learning new skills," he said.

"With your efforts, Singapore's economy will emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic."

He added that as Singapore eases its border restrictions, he is confident that the labour market situation to remain steady.

"With the recent easing of border restrictions and safe management measures, I am optimistic that our labour market situation will hold steady in the coming months," he said.

In the meantime, the minister said the government will continue support measures for businesses and workers, including the Workforce Singapore - WSG, Employment & Employability Institute, e2i from the National Trades Union Congress, and SGUnited Jobs and Skills placement partners.

"As announced at Budget 2022, we have also extended the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme and the Jobs Growth Incentive to better support our mature and vulnerable workforce segments," said Tan.

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