Singapore's unemployment rate goes up in July: MOM

The increase can be attributed to recent COVID-19 restrictions

Singapore's unemployment rate goes up in July: MOM

Unemployment rates in Singapore increased in July, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Monday.

Overall unemployment rates increased 2.8% in July from the 2.7% the previous month, the figures revealed. This is equivalent to 87,300 out-of-work permanent residents and Singapore citizens in the state's total population.

Out of the total, 77,200 citizens were unemployed, or 3.9% of the population. This is also an increase from June's 3.7%. In terms of residency, there are 3.7% residents out of work in Singapore, higher than the 3.5% recorded a month before.

The increase halted the eight-month trend of dipping unemployment rates in Singapore, according to the ministry, which can be attributed to recent COVID-19 restrictions.

"Other labour market indicators suggest this increase could be due to the temporary easing of manpower demand in certain sectors during the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from 16 May to 13 June 2021," the ministry's report read.                   

Read more: MOM figures indicate continued skills gap

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said on a Facebook post that the unemployment hike "likely" reflected a dip in demand for manpower in the food service and retail trade sectors.

According to the minister, measures will be relaxed soon as Singapore transitions to a COVID-resilient nation, reopening more businesses and boosting manpower demand.

"I encourage companies to constantly pursue innovation and review their business operations to meet the changing needs of the economy," he urged. "Jobseekers can also tap on initiatives such as the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package to be placed into jobs and skills opportunities."

Tan also promised that the ministry and Workforce Singapore will continue helping jobseekers and employers match for opportunities.

"We remain committed towards ensuring that our businesses and workers are well-equipped to face challenges in the future," he said.

A more comprehensive report on July's unemployment rate called Labour Market Report Second Quarter 2021 will be published on September 15, according to MOM.

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