Employment growth slowed in Singapore in the first three months of 2012, but remained fairly strong with 27,400 new jobs created, the Ministry of Manpower said Monday. This was lower than the 37,600 jobs created in the city-state in the preceding three months, and the 28,300 created in the same period last year, according to preliminary first-quarter estimates. The unemployment rate increased to 2.1 per cent in March, from 2.0 per cent in December. Of the new jobs, 19,800 were created in services and 8,000 in construction. Manufacturing jobs fell by 500, after having fallen by 1,400 in the last quarter of 2011. Layoffs fell, with an estimated 2,700 workers made redundant in the first three months of 2012 - lower than the 3,250 laid off in the previous quarter.