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Singapore Added More Jobs Than Initially Estimated Last Quarter

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March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s companies added more jobs than initially estimated last quarter, pushing the unemployment rate to a 14-year low in 2011.

Employers increased payrolls by 37,600 in the three months through December, compared with a January estimate of 36,300, the Ministry of Manpower said in a statement today. The unemployment rate averaged 2 percent last year, it said.

The government has cut taxes in recent years to encourage companies to set up operations or expand in the Southeast Asian nation as it faces competition from neighbors including Indonesia and Malaysia in attracting investment. Singapore’s economy shrank for the second time in three quarters in the three months ended December as manufacturing eased, increasing pressure on policy makers to spur growth.

“With the economic outlook uncertain, hiring sentiments have continued to soften,” the government said today.

Productivity slipped 0.4 percent last quarter, the ministry said. Average wages before adjusting for inflation rose 4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net

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