ILO finds discouraged workers in Singapore

More than four million people around the world stopped looking for jobs last year, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Discouraged workers: International Labour Organization report

The proportion of discouraged workers – who would rather be working but couldn’t find jobs – was particularly high in Singapore, as this chart shows.  It’s taken from the ILO’s newly released World of Work 2010 report, a labour market study from 2009 till the first quarter of 2010. The  chart is taken from the full report, which can be found here on the ILO website.

While the number of unemployed people in Singapore is small, those out of work are having a harder time finding new jobs than in 2007 and 2008, according to data from the Ministry of Manpower. You can see the figures at the end of this post.

This chart from the ILO report shows job growth in East and Southeast Asia.

Employment growth from 2009 to 2010 first quarter: International Labour Organization 

“Particularly high employment gains are witnessed in the Philippines at 5 per cent,” the ILO says in its Asia brief.

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower statistics show the number of long-term unemployed residents – who had been jobless for at least 25 weeks – went up from 9,800 in 2008 to 18,700 in 2009 (see unemployment) and then came down to 16,500 in June 2010 (see Labour Market, Second Quarter, 2010).

According to the ministry, the long-term unemployment rate for residents went up from 0.5 per cent in 2008 to 0.9 per cent in 2009 and dipped to 0.8 per cent in June 2010.

In all, there were 84,400 unemployed residents in June 2010, according to the ministry.

The ministry did not give the total number of people with jobs in June 2010 but said 24,900 new jobs had been created.

There were 2.99 million people with jobs in Singapore at the end of 2009, up from 2.95 million in 2008. (See the ministry’s employment data.)

To be fair, Singapore has one of the lowest unemployment rates, as this chart shows. The figures are from the Economist’s September 30 issue.

Unemployment in Singapore and other countries.
Unemployment in Singapore and other countries.

Unemployment has stabilized, the Ministry of Manpower said in its second quarter labour market report, released in September.

That means there was no drop in unemployment between April and June.

The number of jobless in Singapore is small.

However, those who lost their jobs had a harder time finding new jobs last year. And, this year, the re-employment rate has been lower than in 2007 and 2008. These figures are taken from the ministry’s re-employment data.

Re-employment rate 2007 2008 2009 2010
Annual average 67.2 69.3 48.6 n.a.
1st quarter 59 66.5 51 50.6
2nd quarter 70 78.7 43.2 54.6
3rd quarter 66.7 62.4 50.2 n.a.
4th quarter 73.3 69.5 50 n.a