SINGAPORE (AP) _ More than 30,000 Singaporeans will be out of work by the end of the year, exceeding the government's projections, the head of the city-state's largest union was quoted Friday as saying.

``In the fourth quarter, retrenchment has gone up compared to'' the previous three months, Cyrille Tan, head of the United Workers of Electronic and Electrical Industries, told The Business Times.

``We estimate that it will exceed 30,000 for the year, which means some 10,000 were laid off this quarter.''

The Ministry of Manpower had projected the year's total layoffs would not exceed 30,000 in the country of 3.1 million people. The unemployment rate for September was 4.5 percent, almost double June's 2.3 percent, according to government figures.

Singapore is in the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in its 33-year history. During the last recession in 1985, the number of jobless totaled 19,529.