June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore employers added more jobs than initially estimated last quarter as the services industry increased payrolls to support demand in the growing economy.
The city-state added 28,300 jobs in the three months through March, compared with an earlier estimate of 23,700, the Ministry of Manpower said in a statement today. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 1.9 percent from 2.2 percent the previous quarter.
Singapore, ranked by the World Bank as the easiest place to do business, has cut taxes in recent years to encourage investment in the city state. Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. are among companies that are setting up or expanding capacity on the island as the government aims to attract as much as S$14 billion ($11.4 billion) of investments this year.
“The labor market tightened further amid healthy economic growth in the first quarter of 2011,” the government said in today’s report. “Fewer workers were laid off and unemployment improved to a three-year low. With strong manpower demand, the ratio of job openings to job seekers rose to pre-recessionary levels.”
The services industry added 26,500 jobs last quarter, while manufacturing companies increased payrolls by 100, the report showed. Construction employment rose by 1,500 in the three months through March, the government said.
Productivity rose 4.5 percent last quarter, the ministry said. Average wages before adjusting for inflation rose 8.5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.
Singapore’s unemployment rate may be 2 percent by the end of this quarter and remain at that level at the end of the year, according to the median estimate in a survey of 21 economists by the Monetary Authority of Singapore released last week.
--Editors: Lars Klemming, Sean Collins.
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