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THE increase in resident unemployment and redundancies in Singapore is a concern, NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay posted on Facebook following the advance release of the 2016 labour report.
"The increase in resident unemployment to 3.2 per cent in December is a concern even though employment rose in Q4,'' Mr Tay said, urging companies to be responsible and sensitive when dealing with redundancies.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in its 'Labour Market Advance Release 2016', that total employment in 2016 is estimated to have increased by 16,400 or 0.4 per cent, lower than the 32,300 or 0.9 per cent in 2015. This was the lowest growth since 2003 (-12,900 or -0.6 per cent).
For the whole of 2016, redundancies rose to 19,000, going up steadily since 2010.
For the fourth quarter of 2016, preliminary estimates showed that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for overall rose from 2.1 per cent in September 2016 to 2.2 per cent in December 2016, residents (2.9 to 3.2 per cent) and citizens (3.0 to 3.5 per cent).
Mr Tay reiterated the need to look at future jobs, skills and training so that workers are "ready with new skills, relevant to new jobs and resilient to new changes and challenges".
"The Labour Movement will double our efforts to encourage and help workers re-skill, up-skill and second skill to remain employable and continue to support and help workers affected by job loss to get back into a job as soon as possible. Besides being able and adaptable, important to help our workers stay agile to embrace change and disruption."
He added that tripartite partners - NTUC, SNEF (Singapore National Employers Federation) and MOM (including Workforce Singapore, MOE/SkillsFuture Singapore and MTI/Economic Development Board) - work closer to support each other and to leverage on the various programmes and funding so that workers and companies can adapt and grow.