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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     31 October  2011

Strong employment in Singapore

Singapore saw strong employment growth in the third quarter of 2011, with total employment growing by 32,300.

This was up from the gain of 24,800 in the preceding quarter and 20,500 in the third quarter last year, according to the employment data released by Ministry of Manpower here today.

The bulk of employment gains in Q3 this year came from services (21,900), higher than in the preceding quarter (20,200).

Construction added 6,600 workers, while manufacturing employment rose by 3,500.

Both registered substantially higher gains than in the earlier quarters.

Layoff of workers remained low.

Based on preliminary estimates, 1,500 workers were retrenched and 500 had their contracts terminated prematurely, resulting in a total of 2,000 workers made redundant in the third quarter of 2011.

This was about the same as the 2,020 redundancies in the preceding quarter.

According to the ministry, unemployment dropped slightly after increasing in the previous quarter.

The seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate declined from 2.1 percent in June 2011 to 2.0 percent in September.

Similarly, the unemployment rate for residents dipped from 3.0 per cent to 2.9 percent and for Singapore citizens, from 3.1 percent to 3.0 percent over the same period.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate in September 2011 was 1.7 percent for overall, 2.5 percent for residents and 2.6 per cent for citizens.

The unemployment rates were lower than in June 2011, as this year's batch of tertiary graduates secured employment, and students who looked for work during the mid-year vacation returned to school.

An estimated 52,500 residents including 45,700 citizens were unemployed in September 2011. The seasonally adjusted figures were 61,300 for residents and 53,200 for citizens.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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.

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