Singapore's unemployment rate in the first quarter remained low, showing that the labor market continues to be tight, the Ministry of Manpower said in a report on Friday.
The seasonally adjusted overall jobless rate was 2 percent in March this year, up from 1.8 percent in December, according to the labor market report.
The jobless rate among the residents also climbed from 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent, while the jobless rate among the citizens went up to 3 percent from 2.8 percent.
However, the report said that it could reflect increased job search activity as more residents, especially the less educated, were encouraged to enter the labour force, given more job openings and an increase in wages that came with the tightening of foreign manpower controls.
Singapore has tightened its foreign manpower policies since around the general elections in 2011.
Total employment grew by 28,300 in the first quarter, lower than the seasonally high increase of 40,600 in the last quarter of 2013 but broadly comparable to the 28,900 in the first quarter of 2013. This brought total employment to 3,552,200 in March, which was 4 percent higher than a year ago.
The seasonally adjusted job vacancies rose for the third consecutive quarter, though the rate of increase over the quarter moderated to 3 percent in March from 9.2 percent in December.