Is the mainstream media and government statistics reflecting the truth about the jobs and unemployment situation in Singapore?
A group of Singaporeans, who are concerned about the unemployment situation and how the Singaporean worker is unprotected, will take to Speakers Corner this Saturday, 9 May. They plan to highlight the problems faced by those who are retrenched and provide suggestions on how they can be better helped.
As mentioned by Mr Leong Sze Hian in a letter to the Today newspaper (see below), unemployment statistics and job vacancies may not reflect accurately the situation on the ground.
Do come and give your support to the speakers this Saturday! (See details below)
Letter from Leong Sze Hian to the Today newspaper on May 3.
I refer to “Job pool shrinks” (Apr 30).
The Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) now has about 18,000 immediate job vacancies and some 9,600 registered job seekers.
I would like to commend the e2i for managing to increase the number of job vacancies from the 12,668 about a month ago, to 18,000 now. This is a remarkable increase of 42 per cent in just one month, not counting the jobs that must already have been taken in the past month, inspite of the worsening downturn.
In the update on the achievements of e2i, about 80 per cent of those who sought its help were not ready to start a new job immediately.
In this regard, I would like to suggest that we try to find out why four out of five unemployed, “were not ready to start on a new job immediately”? After all, there is now about two jobs available to every registered job seeker at e2i.
In this connection, since e2i’s last update on March 3 was that about 40 per cent of the 12,668 jobs available at e2i were offering salaries of more than $2,000, I would like to suggest that a break-down of the current 18,000 jobs available be given in respect of the salaries range.
Doing so may encourage more unemployed Singaporeans to register with e2i.
As the locals unemployment rate has hit a 5-year high of 4.8 per cent, and there were 95,600 unemployed residents at the end of the first quarter according to the Ministry of Manpower, with 12,600 retrenched in the first quarter, I would like to suggest that the e2i try to do more to reach out to the unemployed to register as a job seeker. This is perhaps underscored by the statistic that only about 27,000 (9,600 with e2i and 17,000 with CDCs) are currently registered job seekers with e2i and the CDC Career Link centres, which is only about 28 per cent of the 95,600 total unemployed now.
Whilst on the one hand, the e2i seems to be doing a great job in getting and increasing job vacancies, it does not appear to be doing as well in placing jobs, as only 4,012 workers were placed in jobs in sectors such as construction, tourism and childcare, in the first quarter. This is only about 20 per cent of the 20,000 people whom it helped find jobs last year. On a quarterly adjusted basis, this may mean that it is placing about 20 per cent less jobs this quarter compared to each quarter last year.
According to e2i’s web site, 5679 of the 18,489 vacancies are in the public sector, and 5,800 are in the two integrated resorts (IRs). As the IRs are expected to open at the end of the year, how many of these 5,800 jobs are available now and paying salaries now?