We start off in Singapore where the growth of the economy in 2017 has contributed to an improvement in the labour market for locals. The unemployment rate for Singaporeans improved to 3% from 3.4%. At the same time, the combined unemployment rate for Singaporeans and permanent residents declined to 3% from 3.2% a year ago.
There were a total of 21,300 more locals in jobs last year, bringing the total number of employed people in Singapore to 3.42 million as of December 2017. Retrenchments also fell to 14,720 from a 7-year high in 2016 of 19,170. The rate of re-entry into employment within six months was about 65%. However, older workers and degree holders had a harder time on average. The Ministry of Manpower said it forecasts employment to continue to expand this year as the economy is expected to grow by 1.5% to 3.5%.
Labour productivity, measured as value added per actual hour worked, also rose by 4.5% from the previous year. The median income for a Singaporean in full-time work, including CPF, also increased to $4,050 last June, up 5.9% from the previous year. After adjusting for inflation, real income growth was a respectable 5.3%.
New private home sales in Singapore declined 61.5% in February from a year ago. Developers only sold 377 units, down from 979 sold the previous year. On a monthly basis, there was a 28% decline in sales from the 524 units sold in January. URA’s data shows that the top selling projects of the month were at Queens Peak at Dundee Road, where 47 units at a median price of $1730 per square foot (psf) were sold. Another 34 units at Kingsford Waterbay were sold at a median price of $1349 psf.
Singapore is the world’s most…