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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        15  June 2011

Singapore unemployment lowest in 3 years

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Singapore’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest rate in three years amid healthy economic growth, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday.

The overall unemployment rate fell from a seasonally adjusted 2.2 per cent in December 2010, to 1.9 per cent in March 2011.

Total employment rose by 28,300 in the first quarter of 2011, down from the seasonal high gains of 33,900 in the fourth quarter of 2010, which MOM said was driven by year-end hirings for the festive season. An estimated 54,300 residents were unemployed in March 2011.

Most of the gains in the first quarter of 2011 came from services, which added 26,500 jobs. All services industries expanded their workforce, led by community, social and personal services (9,000), professional services (4,400) and wholesale and retail trade (3,400).

MOM also said job vacancies rose substantially by 32 per cent over the year to 49,300 in March 2011. However, after adjusting for seasonality, job vacancies rose by 17 per cent over the quarter to 54,000, a new high since comparable series started in March 2006.

Nominal average monthly earnings rose by 8.5 per cent over the year, accelerating from the growth in the preceding four quarters. After factoring in inflation, real average monthly earnings rose by 3.2 percent. This was slightly lower than the growth of 3.4 per cent in the previous quarter, but was still higher than the 2.1 per cent to 2.8 percent climb in the first three quarters of 2010.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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