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Singapore third-quarter jobless rate edges up to decade-high of 2.3%


SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's unemployment rate in the third quarter edged up to its highest in almost 10 years, official data showed on Thursday, amid signs of economic uncertainty ahead of an election widely expected to be held within months.

The overall unemployment rate edged up to 2.3% from 2.2% in the previous quarter, on a seasonally adjusted basis, data from the manpower ministry showed. This was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2009 when the unemployment rate touched 2.3%.

The rise was due to hiring caution amid underlying economic uncertainties, the ministry said in a statement, adding that an "effort will be needed to help unemployed job seekers overcome skills mismatches with the remaining vacancies."

Singapore's unemployment rate is significantly below other advanced economies with the OECD average around 5%.

The city-state, which has seen a softening in growth this year partly due to a tariff tussle between its major trade partners - the United States and China, has in recent months taken steps towards holding an election due by early-2021.

(Reporting by Fathin Ungku and John Geddie, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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