SINGAPORE, Sept 7 — The unemployment rate among Singapore residents rose to 3.7 per cent in July, up from 3.5 per cent the month before — the first time the rate has risen in 10 months. 

Statistics released by the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) yesterday (September 6), showed that some 87,300 residents were unemployed in July, including 77,200 citizens.

MoM attributed the rise to the return of stricter safe management measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the heightened alert phase that was imposed from May 16 to June 13 this year. 

People were not allowed to dine out and gatherings were limited to two people. 

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng, who posted on his Facebook page yesterday, said that there was probably a dip in demand for manpower in sectors affected by the tighter restrictions, such as retail trade and food and beverage. 

The unemployment rate for citizens in July also climbed to 3.9 per cent, 0.2 percentage points higher from the month before. 

The overall unemployment rate went up to 2.8 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent in June. 

Despite the increase, MoM said that the unemployment rates in July were still lower than in May, which saw unemployment rate at 4 per cent for residents, 4.2 per cent for citizens, and 2.9 per cent overall. 

More details will be released in the second quarter labour market report on Sept 15, it added.

As Singapore moves towards living with an endemic Covid-19, Dr Tan said that measures will be relaxed further as more sectors of the economy reopens. 

“This will help boost manpower demand and allow our labour market to continue recovering.

At the same time, I encourage companies to constantly pursue innovation and review their business operations to meet the changing needs of the economy,” Dr Tan wrote in his post.  ― TODAY