SINGAPORE, Singapore's Ministry of Manpower announced on Thursday that Singapore's labour market improved in 2017, in line with the pick-up in economic activity.

It said in the Statement on Labour Market Developments in 2017 that the seasonally-adjusted resident unemployment rate declined from 3.2 percent in December 2016 to 3 percent in December 2017.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted resident long-term unemployment rate remained unchanged at 0.8 percent from a year before.

On one hand, according to the statement, Singapore's local employment grew by 21,300 in 2017, compared to 11,200 in 2016.

The financial and insurance services, information and communications, professional services, and healthcare sectors, which have relatively higher shares of professionals, managers, executives and technicians occupations, are main contributors to the local employment increase.

On the other hand, Singapore's foreign employment declined by 32,000 in 2017, compared to the slight contraction of 2,500 in 2016.

The ministry attributed the accelerated decline to a decrease in work permit holders in sectors such as marine shipyard and construction.

The ministry forecasts that local employment will continue to grow this year, albeit with some continued unevenness across sectors.

Hiring is expected to remain cautious in sectors such as construction and marine shipyard, while job opportunities will continue to be available in the manufacturing sector as well as the services sectors, particularly infocommunications and media, finance and insurance, healthcare, professional services, logistics and wholesale trade, it added in the statement.

Previously, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry announced that the city-state achieved a 3.6 percent economic growth in 2017, and would have the economy to grow by 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2018, with growth likely to come in slightly above the middle of the forecast range.

Source: NAM News Network