According to labour market data from the Ministry of Manpower, total employment in Singapore, excluding migrant domestic workers, grew in Q1 2021.
In Q1 2021 the main employment increases were in service sectors such as information & communications, financial services and professional services. After continued reductions in the preceding quarters, total employment in construction saw a slight rebound in 1Q 2021. However employment in manufacturing continued to contract but at a slower rate.
Against the backdrop of a slowly recovering economy, unemployment rates saw a further reduction from 3.0% to 2.9%. Since peaking in September 2020 the unemployment rates have been falling over the past two quarters. They still remain elevated compared to pre-Covid-19 rates.
“Even though retrenchments have fallen to a level usually observed in 2018 and 2019, we could still see pockets of job displacements due to on-going restructuring and re-organisation,” the Ministry noted.
“The labour market is still not fully back to pre-Covid-19 conditions,” the Ministry stated. “As a result of on-going travel and entry restrictions, hiring remains subdued in sectors such as construction and hospitality. Unemployment rates may have eased but remain higher than before the pandemic. Nevertheless, preliminary data for 1Q 2021 showed an encouraging pick-up in employment that was fairly broad-based.”