SINGAPORE, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Ministry of Manpower announced on Thursday that the country's labor market had improved last year as annual average unemployment rate for overall stood at 2.1 percent, comparing to 2.2 percent in 2017.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for residents declined from 3.1 percent to 2.9 percent, and that for citizens declined from 3.3 percent to 3 percent, according to the advance release of the Labour Market Report for 2018 from the ministry.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate for overall was 2.2 percent for the fourth quarter of 2018, 0.1 percentage point higher than a year ago. That for residents stayed at the same level of 3 percent, and that for citizens went up from 3 percent a year ago to 3.1 percent.
The preliminary data from the release showed Singapore's total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, was estimated to increase by 39,300 in 2018. The growth among locals was 28,400, while that of foreigners, excluding foreign domestic workers, was 10,900.
As for the fourth quarter, the total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, was estimated to grow 15,600, slightly lower than the 16,700 for the preceding quarter. This was due to employment growth in services, primarily from seasonal hiring, the ministry said, adding that manufacturing employment decreased over the quarter, while construction employment was unchanged.
The ministry forecast that Singapore's local workforce growth would remain modest in the future due to the underlying demographics of an aging population and low birth rates.