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Singapore jobless rate rises to 2.1% [01-08-2013]  
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Singapore's overall unemployment rate was 2.1 per cent in June 2013.

It was 1.9 per cent in March 2013 and 1.8 per cent in December 2012.

This is according to the Manpower Ministry (MOM) in its report on the employment situation for the second quarter of 2013.

MOM said the tight labour market showed signs of easing as layoffs rose amid business restructuring and consolidation.

The resident unemployment rate rose to 3.0 per cent in June 2013 from 2.9 per cent in March 2013 and 2.7 per cent in December 2012.

The unemployment rate for citizens increased to 3.1 per cent from 2.9 per cent in the preceding two quarters.

David Ang, associate director at Renumeration Data Specialists, said: "For those who are retrenched, I think it's important to get back into the job which they're good at. And if there are jobs that they can take it quickly, go ahead and take the jobs.

"If they are new graduates, I think it's important to see what are the type of jobs that will suit them."

As for employment creation, it increased to 32,500 in the second quarter from 28,900 in the previous quarter.

The service sector generated the bulk of employment gains in the second quarter -- 21,700 new jobs in the sector were created, up from 17,300 a year ago. Employment growth, however, eased in manufacturing and construction.

Associate Professor Shandre Thangvelu from the economics department of the National University of Singapore, said: "We're creating jobs, and unemployment is going up at the same time. If unemployment still starts going up with job creation, it basically means that we will have a set of workers who might not have the right skills as we create new jobs. That becomes an important issue."

Experts said that this could be an issue of structural unemployment as firms shift from manual labour to automation in a bid to raise productivity, resulting in staff redundancy.

The total employment in June 2013 was 3,419,000, 4 per cent higher than a year ago.

Layoffs rose in the second quarter of 2013.

An estimated 2,900 workers were affected compared to 2,120 in the preceding quarter.

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