Singapore's Unemployment Rate Edges Higher in First Quarter

By Gaurav Raghuvanshi Features Dow Jones Newswires

Singapore's unemployment rate edged higher in the first quarter of this year due to cautious hiring amid a mixed outlook for the economy.

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The overall unemployment rate rose to 2.3% in the January-to-March period from 2.2% in the previous three months, according to government data released Friday.

Total employment declined by 8,500 in the first quarter, after 2,300 jobs were added in the December quarter. The decline was mainly due to a decrease in work permit holders in marine and construction industries, which continue to experience weakness, according to the release.

Redundancies fell to 4,800 in the March quarter after 5,440 jobs were made redundant in the fourth quarter of last year.

"While the outlook for the global economy has improved slightly, benefiting some outward-oriented sectors in our economy, downside risks and uncertainties remain," the government said. It expects the labor market outlook to "remain uneven" across sectors.

Companies in some sectors will remain cautious about hiring, but jobs in industries such as such as healthcare, finance, insurance and some segments of manufacturing will continue to be available, it said.

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Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at gaurav.raghuvanshi@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 27, 2017 23:07 ET (03:07 GMT)