Unemployment rose slightly and job vacancies declined in the first quarter of 2012, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
The key findings from MOM’s first quarter 2012 report showed that overall unemployment in March was 2.1 per cent, up from two per cent in December. This, said the Ministry, suggested that manpower shortages have eased.
It added that 2,600 workers were made redundant in the first quarter, down from 3,250 in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The report also showed a decline in the number of jobs created.
Total employment rose by 27,200 over the same January-March period, a 3.9 per cent drop compared to the 28,300 jobs created in the first quarter of last year (2011). The latest figure is also lower than seasonal high increase of 37,600 in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The majority of employment gains in the first quarter came from the service sectors (15,800), with community, social and personal services (8,800) and administrative and support services (3,400) accounting for the bulk of it.
Construction posted an increase of 8,700, while manufacturing employment rose by 2,000.
In addition, labour productivity fell 2.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, after falling by 0.5 per cent in the preceding quarter.
Nominal average monthly wages increased slightly, by 0.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2012. This is also lower than the 4.0 per cent increase in the previous quarter. After adjusting for inflation, wages decreased by 3.9 per cent in the first quarter, after falling by 1.4 per cent in the fourth quarter last year.
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