Singapore experiencing worst recession, highest unemployment rate in over 10 years

The labour situation is expected to get worse as the country is in a lockdown till June, and wages are expected to drop drastically.


Ever since the global financial crisis in 2009, the unemployment rate in Singapore has not been this high. The first quarter saw the rate of unemployment spike to the highest level in over 10 years. In the last quarter, the unemployment rate increased from 2.3 per cent to 2.4 per cent, which, according to the Manpower Ministry of Singapore is the highest ever since 2009.

Downsizing in the first quarter increased to 3,000 from 2,670 in the quarter before that. Given the ongoing pandemic, the labour situation in the country is only expected to get worse.

As Singapore has the maximum number of COVID-19 positive cases in Asia, the country has been struggling to contain the outbreak. As a result, economic activity has come to a standtill and most offices and schools are shut till June.

Total employment has dipped to 19,900, without including the foreign domestic workers. This is quite a drastic quarterly fall, and never witnessed since the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SAARS) outbreak in 2003. The reason behind this fall is the huge drop in foreign recruitment across various sectors, including construction, services and manufacturing.

Never before has this island country faced such a recession. Now, not only is the employment situation set to deteriorate further, wages are likely to fall to alarming levels.

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