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S'pore unemployment rises to 2.1% in Sept; first jobs contraction since Q1 2015

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Singapore's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage point year-on-year to 2.1 per cent in September as total employment contracted on a quarterly basis for the first time since the first quarter of 2015.

SINGAPORE'S seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage point year-on-year to 2.1 per cent in September as total employment contracted on a quarterly basis for the first time since the first quarter of 2015.

On a quarter-to-quarter basis, overall unemployment was unchanged in September versus June. Resident unemployment was 2.9 per cent in September, unchanged year-on-year but down by 0.1 percentage point against June.

Total employment contracted by 2,700 jobs primarily due to work permit positions in manufacturing and construction. That was the first quarter-on-quarter decline since the first quarter of 2015, when 6,100 jobs were lost.

The manufacturing sector saw a decline of 3,600 jobs, while construction lost 5,300 jobs. Services, however, added 6,300 jobs.

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The seasonally unadjusted resident long-term unemployment rate increased to 0.8 per cent in September from 0.6 per cent a year earlier. The long-term unemployed formed 30 per cent of unemployed residents, up from 23 per cent a year ago and the highest share for a September period since 33 per cent in 2002.

There were 4,220 workers laid off in the third quarter, which was lower than the 4,800 in the second quarter but higher than the 3,460 a year ago. Through the first nine months of 2016, 13,730 workers were laid off, higher than the 10,220 redundancies in the same period in 2015 and the highest since the 21,210 over the same period in 2009.

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