SINGAPORE, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Singapore sees increase in unemployment, layoffs and job searching time in 2016, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) reported in the Labour Market Advance Release 2016 on Wednesday.
MOM said unemployment for residents rose from 2.8 percent in 2015 to 3 percent in 2016, the highest since 2010. The annual average resident long-term unemployment rate was higher among those aged 50 and over as well as among degree holders.
Total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, grew by 8,600 in 2016, lower than the increase of 23,300 in 2015, and significantly lower than the annual average of 120,000 between 2010 to 2014.
Local employment grew by 11,200 in 2016, rebounding from flat growth in 2015 due to growth in the professional services, financial and insurance services, and community, social and personal services sectors.
On the other hand, foreign employment contracted by 2,500 in 2016, continuing a downtrend since 2011 due to the decrease in Work Permit Holders in the manufacturing, marine and construction sectors.
In the meantime, redundancies rose to 19,170 in 2016, due mainly to business restructuring and reorganization.
The number of job vacancies dropped 47,600 in December 2016, the lowest since December 2012, said MOM.
Singapore's income however increased. The median monthly income from work including employer Central Provident Fund contributions of full-time employed Singaporeans increased by 0.7 percent over the year to 3,823 Singapore dollars (2,707 U.S. dollars) in June 2016.
Overall labor productivity rose by 1.4 percent in 2016, an improvement from the 1.0 percent in 2015.
In view of the weakened labor market, MOM has further enhanced the "Adapt and Grow" programs to help job-seekers overcome mismatches and missed matches in the labor market as the economy restructures.
MOM expects labor demand to remain modest in line with the Ministry of Trade and Industry forecast of modest GDP growth in 2017.