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Singapore's unemployment rates up in Q1 2017 for most age, education groups

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Singapore's resident unemployment rates for most age and education groups were higher in the first quarter of this year compared to a year ago, according to figures released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Tuesday.

SINGAPORE'S resident unemployment rates for most age and education groups were higher in the first quarter of this year compared to a year ago, according to figures released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Tuesday.

The increase in resident unemployment rates was more pronounced among residents aged below 30 (from 3.8 per cent to 4.6 per cent), and 50 and over (2.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent), as well as among those with diploma and professional qualifications (2.3 per cent to 3.5 per cent), and below secondary (1.8 per cent to 2.7 per cent) qualifications.

More job seekers took a longer time to find work. The resident long-term unemployment rate was 0.8 per cent in March 2017, marginally higher than the 0.7 per cent in March last year.

The seasonally-adjusted resident unemployment rate in March 2017 remained unchanged at 3.2 per cent over the previous quarter.

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Total employment declined by 6,800 in Q1 2017, after a modest growth of 2,300 in the previous quarter. MOM said that the decline reflected a reduction in the foreign workforce, mainly due to a decrease in work permit holders in manufacturing and construction, which was a result of low oil prices and continued weakness in private sector construction activity, respectively.

At the same time, employment continued to grow in sectors such as community, social and personal services, and financial and insurance services.

Redundancies declined to 4,000 in Q1 2017, from 5,440 in Q4 2016 and 4,710 a year ago.

In particular, manufacturing redundancies were the lowest in the past six quarters. The six-month re-entry rate among residents made redundant was 64 per cent in Q1 2017, comparable to the previous quarter (65 per cent).

In particular, both younger workers aged below 30 and workers in the clerical, sales and service sector had the highest rates of re-entry, at 78 per cent.

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