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Singapore sees local jobless rate peaking this year

·1 min read
Man sits on a bench with distance markers along Marina Bay in Singapore
Man sits on a bench with distance markers along Marina Bay in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore expects its local unemployment rate to peak in the second half of this year but remain high in 2021 as the city-state plots a slow recovery from its coronavirus slump.

The jobless rate among citizens and permanent residents hit 4.5% in August, its highest since 2009 during the global financial crisis, the latest data showed. Numbers for the third quarter are due on Friday.

"It (resident unemployment) should edge down from its peak in the latter half of 2020," the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its semi-annual macroeconomic review released on Wednesday.

The MAS added, however, that the rate could stay elevated next year as employment is expected to expand gradually and may not make up for this year's losses.

Overall unemployment, which also includes those on work visas, hit its highest since 2004 in August. Authorities have said job losses in the global business hub have fallen heavier on foreigners.

(Reporting by John Geddie and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Martin Petty)