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SINGAPORE: Singapore's manpower ministry said on Friday it expects the country's jobless rate to fall to pre-pandemic levels in the months ahead as the unemployment situation continues to improve, with borders slowly reopening and retrenchments declining.

Data showed on Friday that the overall preliminary unemployment rate in December was 2.4% compared with 2.5% in November.

Total employment, excluding migrant domestic workers, grew by 47,400 in the fourth quarter, with non-resident employment seeing growth for the first time in eight quarters, as the country eased border restrictions.

The 2021 annual unemployment rate improved to 2.6% from 3.0% in 2020, according to Friday's preliminary data.

Pakistan, Singapore agree to enhance cooperation in diverse fields

It is still higher than the rate of 2.3% in 2019 before the pandemic. The final figures will be released in March.

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