Some 5,300 workers were made redundant, up from 4,220 in the preceding quarter but similar to a year ago (5,370).
Reflecting seasonal hiring for year-end festivities, total employment grew by 1,900, compared to a contraction in the third quarter (-2,700), but growth was lower than a year ago (16,100).
For full year 2016, the annual average unemployment went up to 2.1 percent (from 1.9 percent in 2015) and marking the highest level since 2010. Resident unemployment rose to 3.0 percent (from 2.8 percent) while citizen unemployment increased to 3.1 percent (from 2.9 percent). The increase was broad based across most age and education groups.
Total employment was estimated to have increased by 16,400 or 0.4 percent, lower than the 32,300 or 0.9 percent in 2015. It was the lowest growth since 2003 (-12,900 or -0.6 percent). The moderation in total employment in the year took place amid slower growth in the Singapore economy, slowdown in local labour force growth and continued tightening of the supply of foreign workforce. Across broad sectors, employment in manufacturing declined by 15,700 for the year, followed by that in construction (-11,300). In contrast, services employment grew by 43,800, a pace that was broadly similar to 2015 (45,500).
In 2016, redundancies rose to 19,000, mainly due to restructuring and a slower economy. Redundancies have trended up since 2010, but remained lower than the recessionary high in 2009.