In the three months to June, the jobless rate fell for residents (3.1 percent from 3.2 percent in the March quarter) and citizens (3.3 percent from 3.5 percent). However, the rates remained higher than a year ago, after trending up in the previous quarters.
Total employment fell by 7,300, following a drop of 6,800 in the first quarter, due to sustained declines in Work Permit Holders in construction (-10, 500 from -12,500 in Q1) and manufacturing (-3,600 from -4,400). Meantime, services sector saw employmrent rose at a slower pace (7,000 from 10,000).
Some 3,640 workers were laid off, lower than 4,000 workers in the March quarter and a year ago (4,800). The decline was observed across all broad sectors. About 64 percent of retrenchments were from services, mainly in professional services (17 percent), financial services (12 percent) and wholesale trade (12 percent).
The rate of re-entry among retrenched residents was 64.0 percent, similar to the compared to the previous quarter.
The number of job vacancies among private sector establishments with at least 25 employees and the public sector increased. As a result of higher vacancies and a lower number of job seekers, the seasonally adjusted job vacancies to unemployed ratio improved for the second consecutive quarter to 85 job vacancies for every 100 employed, compared to March 2017 (81) and December 2016 (77).
The seasonally adjusted recruitment rate was unchanged from the previous quarter (2.1 percent). Meanwhile, resignation rate declined slightly to 1.7 percent (from 1.8 percent in the March quarter after holding steady since Q1 2016).