In the first quarter, the jobless rate fell for residents (2.8 percent from 3 percent in the December quarter) and was unchanged for citizens (3.0 percent).
Total employment declined by 2,100, after a seasonal increase in the preceding quarter. The decline occurred in construction ( -5,900 from -5,700 in the prior quarter) and manufacturing (-4,300 from -1,300), largely due to fewer Work Permit Holders. In contrast, employment in services increased by 7.900 (from 18,200).
Some 2,100 workers were laid off, compared to 3,680 in the previous quarter and 4,000 a year ago. The decline over the first quarter 2018 occurred in manufacturing, services and construction. Services continued to form the bulk of retrenchments (60 percent) , followed by manufacturing (23 percent) and construction (16 percent).
For full 2017, unemployment rate in Singapore came in at 2.2 percent, the most since 2010.