THE economy created 24,100 jobs between July and September, driving the jobless rate down to 2.1 per cent - the lowest in 2 1/2 years.

The Manpower Ministry's third quarter flash estimates, released on Friday, show a slight decline of 800 in the number of jobs added, down from the previous quarter's 24,900.

But Singapore remains on track to meet the Government's projection of adding 100,000 jobs or more in 2010. The economy has, up to September, created 85,500 jobs.

The jobless rate of 2.1 per cent is the lowest since March 2008, when it stood at 1.9 per cent.

Some 63,100 citizens and permanent residents were unemployed as of September, down from 65,500 in June.

The Manpower Ministry explained that the dip was partly due to students returning to school after the mid-year vacation, when many had joined the ranks of job seekers. With the economic recovery, fresh graduates also faced fewer difficulties securing jobs, it said.

24,100 new jobs in Q3