More People in S’pore Employed As Unemployment Rates Continue to Decline


If your new year’s resolution was to get a job, chances are, you’re (hopefully) going to be fulfilling that soon.

More people are getting employed as unemployment rates continued to decline in November.

Singapore Economy Recovering from the Recession

The overall unemployment rate was 2.5% in November, which is down from 2.6% in October last year.

Both the citizen and resident unemployment rate decreased by 1%, to 3.5% and 3.2% respectively. Our gross domestic product (GDP) also grew by 7.2% last year.

These figures are the lowest since March 2020, where overall employment was at 2.5%, citizen unemployment 3.6% and resident unemployment 3.5%. Manpower Minister Tan See Leng stated that this signal a continually recovering economy, attributing it to the relaxation of community measures.

With the travel, food and hospitality sectors being hit the hardest by COVID-19, the loosening of restrictions like vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) and increased dine-out sizes has helped them to recover. Increased hiring demand in other local sectors is also expected with more loosening of restrictions in the future.

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Omicron’s Effect on Unemployment Expected to be Minimal

Minister Tan noted that Singapore is likely to face a new wave of COVID-19 cases by Omicron soon. He urged businesses and workers alike to adapt to the changes in the pandemic.


However, the effect of Omicron on jobs should be minimal, said Dr David Leong, managing director of a human resources search and advisory firm PeopleWorldwide Consulting.

This is due to the Omicron strain being milder than Delta. Despite Omicron being more transmissible, our high and continually increasing vaccination and booster rates make it less of a threat.

The government is also ramping up the nationwide vaccination programme to combat the Omicron strain.

With businesses seeking to expand quickly to make up for opportunities lost during the pandemic, unemployment rates are expected to continue decreasing as well.

More Work-from-Home Jobs?

Good news for everyone who hates the morning MRT crowd: you might never have to experience that again. (Or, well, you’ll experience less of it. There’s always a crowd on the MRT.)

With work-from-home (WFH) being increasingly common and ingrained in our work culture, businesses and employers have factored this in while hiring. There will likely be more WFH jobs available soon as jobs are arranged to suit WFH settings.

And with more people on WFH arrangements, those going back to the office can have a less squeezy commute. Win-win situation!

If you’re a jobseeker who requires assistance, you can approach Workforce Singapore, or the NTUC Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

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