No, we should instead use seasonally adjusted
unemployment data. This is because unemployment data have seasonal influences that make it difficult to observe the underlying trend.
In Singapore, unemployment is typically higher in the middle of the year when our graduates enter the labour market and students look for vacation jobs. Later in the year, unemployment typically falls as graduates find work and students return to school. This seasonal pattern makes it difficult for us to tell if a rise or fall in unemployment is a true reflection of the underlying trend or merely due to seasonal influences.
To remove the seasonal influences, we adopt a technique used by most national statistical agencies, to produce seasonally adjusted data that will enable us to observe the underlying trends more clearly. We should use the seasonally adjusted data to compare unemployment between different times of the year.
For non-seasonally adjusted unemployment data, it is more appropriate to compare between the same period across years i.e. June 2012 with June 2011.