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5 August 2009

Mixed outlook for jobs in Singapore

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The rise in unemployment in Singapore could slow over the coming months, with new data showing that factory owners have begun to hire again, reported the city-state’s daily the Straits Times.

The monthly purchasing managers' index (PMI) published on Tuesday indicated that employment last month expanded for the first time in 19 months. Last month's employment index was 50.2, compared to 48.1 in June and 48.5 in May.

A reading above 50 indicates that employers are hiring, while a below-50 reading suggests they are retrenching. Economists warned, though, that there could still be more job losses as Singapore approached the end of the year.

Economists said that despite the findings pointing to stabilisation in the job market, it was still too early to call a recovery because employment was a lagging indicator.

Unemployment figures were likely to rise with job losses continuing in the months ahead. Also, while employers might be hiring, the index did not give an idea of the scale of the hiring.



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