In the fourth quarter of 2014, citizen unemployment fell to 2.6 percent from 2.9 percent in the previous quarter and resident unemployment declined to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent.
Some 3,910 workers were made redundant in the fourth quarter of 2014, up from 3,500 workers in the preceding quarter. The rate of re-entry into employment improved for the third straight quarter. About 59 percent of residents made redundant in the third quarter of 2014 secured employment by December 2014, up from 55 percent experienced by the previous cohort (laid off in the second quarter of 2014) in September 2014. Total employment grew by 40,700, higher than the 33,400 gains in the preceding quarter.
For the whole of 2014, the annual average unemployment rate was broadly unchanged at 2.0 percent, as compared to 1.9 percent in 2013. Unemployment among citizens remained stable at 2.9 percent from a year earlier, while those among residents slightly fell to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent. On average, 61,200 residents including 53,900 Singapore citizens were unemployed in 2014, as compared to the corresponding figures of 59,800 and 52,900 in the preceding year. Cumulatively, more workers were laid off in 2014 (12,930) than in 2013 (11,560). The increase in layoffs was mainly due to services (from 5,430 to 7,260) and construction (from 1,120 to 1,690), which more than offset the decline in layoffs in manufacturing (from 5,000 to 3,970).
Total employment in 2014 grew by 130,100 ( 3.7 percent), lower than 136,200 ( 4.1 percent) in 2013. The lower growth stemmed from continued moderation in foreign employment growth as local growth rose and outpaced foreigners for the second consecutive year.
Overall, the Singapore labor market is expected to remain tight in 2015. The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects the country's economy to grow between 2.0 to 4.0 percent in 2015. Labor demand will remain tight in 2015, with the services sector expected to be a major contributor to employment growth. With labour supply remaining tight, there is likely to be upward pressure on wages in labour-intensive sectors such as construction, retail, and food services.