According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) today, Singapore’s unemployment rate went up in the second quarter of 2015, after declining for the past four quarters.

The unemployment rate rose to 2 per cent in June, up from 1.8 per cent in March, due to “softer economic conditions”.

Among residents, unemployment rose from 2.5 per cent to 2.8 per cent, and for citizens, it rose from 2.6 per cent to 2.9 per cent. The figures are similar to the unemployment situation a year ago.

Training and consultancy provider Human Capital Singapore said the increase is not a surprise, as the second quarter typically sees an influx of graduates into the workforce.

“It might be due to a situation where people are taking a bit of time to look for jobs,” said Mr David Ang, director of training and consultancy at Human Capital. “People, maybe even for new graduates who come into the group of unemployed, may say, ‘I’ll go for a holiday and I will pursue my options later on’.”

Total employment grew by 15,700, following a contraction of 6,100 in the last quarter, boosted by hiring in the construction and services industries. However, overall employment growth for the first half of 2015 has slowed compared to a year ago, MOM said.

Layoffs fell for the second straight quarter, with 3,100 workers laid off compared with 3,500 in the previous quarter, the ministry said.

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