Saturday, November 29, 2008

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Unemployment Rate Up at 3.3% in Sept 2008

SINGAPORE'S resident unemployment rate has risen from 2.4% last December to 3.1% in June and an estimated 3.3% in September this year, according to the latest Singapore Workforce 2008 report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday. The report, based on a mid-2008 labour force survey, said that the higher unemployment rate reflects 'more cautious hiring sentiments amid the economic slowdown'.

By industry, unemployment rates rose for those previously employed in wholesale and retail trade, information and communications, financial services, as well as administrative and support services.

Most of the jobs created went to resident professionals, managers, executives and technicians - known as PMETs - who typically earn more. 'There were fewer residents employed in non-PMET jobs in manufacturing and services, but more in construction,' said the report, which attributed this partly to a more educated workforce.

Median monthly income for full-time employed residents jumped 11% to $2,590 this year, compared with 2007's rise of 7.7%. According to the report, this 'partly reflects the spillover effect from the strong economic performance last year and the higher proportion of PMETs among employed residents in 2008'. But adjusted for higher inflation, the growth in median monthly income was a smaller 4.6% compared with 2007's 5.5%.

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