More and more jobs available, but nobody wants?

Leong Sze Hian, with contribution by Ng E Jay

I refer to the report “Over 19,000 job seekers find work through SPUR programme” (CNA, Jul 3).

Since the number of residents approaching CDCs for help in finding jobs has increased by 100 per cent from October last year to April this year, and the number of unemployed as of March is 95,700, why is it that only 27,000 “people are still looking for work”, as the CNA report said?

If we include those who have lost their jobs since March, surely the number of “people still looking for work” must be much higher?

Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong said last Friday that it is likely we may observe the unemployment rate rise when the second quarter labour statistics are released later this month. He also said that “it is hard to predict if a second wave of retrenchments will come as this depends on the performance of companies beyond July and August”.

How many of the total of 124,500 workers who have signed up for SPUR since its launch last December are unsuccessful job seekers who have not been counted in the unemployment statistics?

It may not be very useful to keep hearing that more and more jobs are available at e2i — 30,000 now, 19,000 in April and 12,668 in February, that matching these jobs to the unemployed is a challenge, and that Singaporeans are choosy, etc.

What we need is a breakdown of the total jobs created into new jobs that were added this month and spillover jobs that have remained in the database, including information as to how long the jobs in the database have remained unfilled and the salary range specified, so that we may know exactly what jobs people are not taking up.

There should also be a clearer indication of what jobs are available now and paying salaries now. For example, I understand that some of the jobs at the two Integrated Resorts may only start paying full salaries when they open at the end of the year or next year.

On the e2i web site, following the link “what jobs are available” – “PMET”- leads to the web sites of 7 Government ministries and agencies.

Does this mean that there are no jobs in the private sector available for PMETs?


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