Tue, 08 Mar 2005

From: AFP

S'pore jobless rate could rise

SINGAPORE: Singapore's unemployment rate could worsen in the years ahead amid mounting competition as multinationals shift operations to lower-cost countries like China, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

Lee said last week's announcement by Maxtor that the U.S. hard disk drive maker will relocate one of its two Singapore plants to China and close another, a move that will result in the loss of 5,500 jobs here, showed the economic challenges facing the city- state.

"Competition is tougher, technology is advancing rapidly, low value-added activities are dying out and new businesses are being launched," Lee said.

"New jobs are being created, but retrenchments are also taking place. -- AFP