SINGAPORE, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Ministry of Manpower said Thursday that the country's labor market improved in 2018, with both total employment and local employment growing and unemployment rates lower than a year ago.
It said in a statement that Singapore's total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, grew by 38,300 last year, a reversal from the decline of 10,700 a year ago.
The local employment growth was 27,400 in 2018, which was higher than that of 21,300 in 2017. Growth occurred mainly in community, social and personal services, transportation and storage, financial services, information and communications and professional services.
Meanwhile, the city-state saw its annual average resident unemployment rate fell to 2.9 percent in 2018, lower than that of 3.1 percent in the year before. Similarly, the annual average resident long-term unemployment rate fell from 0.8 percent in 2017 to 0.7 percent in 2018.
The ministry forecasts that Singapore's local workforce growth will remain modest in 2019 due to the underlying demographics of an ageing population, and the labor market is expected to remain tight. It said the job opportunities will be available in sectors such as information and communications, financial and insurance services, healthcare, professional services, wholesale trade and the built environment.
Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry projects that the country's economy will grow by 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2019, with growth expected to come in slightly below the mid-point of the forecast range.