By Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the articles “Fewer job seekers, more job openings in third quarter of 2013” (Straits Times, Dec 14) and “Slight increase in long-term unemployment rate from 2012” (Today, Dec 14).
A world of difference?
What a world of difference between the above 2 reports which came out on the same day about the same labour report.
One was “all good”, the other had “the good and the bad”. Here’s my alternative news take for the day.
Long-term unemployment increased
The above cited latter article states that,
“More are remaining unemployed longer — at least 25 weeks — compared to a year ago, in particular those with post-secondary qualifications.
According to the Manpower Ministry’s labour market report for the third quarter released yesterday, the long-term unemployment rate as of September was 0.6 per cent — 12,500 residents — up from 0.4 per cent a year ago. However, this is still below the last recessionary high of 0.9 per cent in September 2009.
Residents refer to Singapore citizens and permanent residents”
Can breakdown unemployment, but not long-term unemployment?
– Since the unemployment statistics is broken down for Singaporeans and PRs in the subject same report, why is there no similar breakdown for long-term unemployment?
“The increase is “possibly due to the rise in unemployment in the first half of the year, driven mainly by the tertiary-educated, who typically take longer to search for jobs that meet their skills, qualifications and salary expectations”, said the ministry in the report”
– So, the long-term unemployment rate increased by half from 0.4 to 0.6%.
Degree holders’ long-term unemployment doubled
“For degree holders, the long-term unemployment rate was 0.8 per cent in September compared to 0.4 per cent a year ago”
– So, the long-term unemployment rate doubled for degree holders!
“For those holding diplomas and professional qualifications, the rate was 0.6 per cent, up from 0.4 per cent a year ago. In contrast, the figure fell for those with secondary qualifications, from 0.5 per cent to 0.4 per cent”
Older increase more and more likely to be long-term unemployed?
“Residents aged below 40 saw long-term unemployment increase from 0.4 per cent in September last year to 0.6 per cent this year, while those 40 and above saw a slightly smaller increase, from 0.5 per cent to 0.6 per cent”
“For the third quarter, overall unemployment rate remained low at 1.8 per cent, down from 2.1 per cent in the previous quarter. This reflects the tight labour market, said the ministry. The unemployment rate for residents decreased from 2.9 per cent to 2.6 per cent and 3.1 per cent to 2.8 per cent for Singapore citizens”
Unemployment rate increased the most for degree holders
– According to the labour report, of the 5 categories by education – only 2 had an increase in the unemployment rate (the other 3 dropped) – degree and post-secondary (non-tertiary) – and degree increased the most from 2.2 to 2.5%!
Of the 3 categories by age – “below 30″ dropped the most from 4.5 to 3.9%, whilst “40 & over” dropped by only 0.1% from 1.9 to 1.8% and “30-29″ remained the same at 1.9%.
The seasonally adjusted figures for the unemployed were 56,000 for residents and 50,300 for citizens.
“Total employment rose by 33,100 in the third quarter, slightly below the gains of 33,700 in the previous quarter, but higher than the 26,200 a year ago. As of September, total employment stands at 3,453,300, up 4.2 per cent from a year ago.
PMET vacancies dropped
The number of job openings rose over the quarter by 5.9 per cent, after declining 5.1 per cent in the previous quarter. There were fewer vacancies (24,300) in September for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), than for non-PMETs (37,600)”
What jobs, pay, how many to Singaporeans?
– What type of jobs was created and what was the pay? How many of the jobs created went to Singaporeans, PRs and foreigners?
PMETs lay-offs highest
“The number of lay-offs fell in the third quarter to 2,710 from 3,080 in the preceding quarter and 2,850 a year ago. Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of residents laid off were PMETS”
– So, the number of PMET lay-offs was as I understand it – much higher than their representation in the total workforce.
Good employment growth, vacancies growth – really? For whom?
In summary – here’s the $64,000 question – since employment creation was so good, unemployment has fallen and vacancies have increased – why has the resident long-term unemployment increased, degree holders unemployment increased, older residents’ unemployment increased and most of the lay-offs were PMETs?