By Leong Sze Hian
Poster on jobs?
Terry Xu, Executive Editor of theonlinecitizen, sent me the following poster which he saw in West Coast and asked me for my comments.
Singaporeans become locals?
Well, for starters – the title of the poster does not match with the content. Why do I say this? Because the title is “More jobs for Singaporeans, Less reliance on foreign workers” but the next line says “More jobs going to locals – Employers hired more locals”.
So, if there were “More jobs for Singaporeans” – how come it goes on to say “More jobs going to locals – Employers hired more locals” – how come Singaporeanshave become “locals“?
Locals only, no Singaporeans’ statistics?
The reason may be – it then cites the statistic for “locals” instead of Singaporeans – “Increase in local jobs have gone up by 50%”.
If we adjust the “local” jobs for PRs, foreigners who became PRs or citizens in the year – is it still 50%?
Still increasing at 80%?
With regard to “Increase in foreign workers (excluding maids) have gone down by 20%” – does it mean that the increase was 20% lower, but is still increasing at a rate of change of 80% of the previous period (by the way, the poster makes no mention as to what time period it is referring to)?
Too shy to say who created it?
Also, it may be rather strange that the poster does not say who is the publisher of the poster? However, there may be a clue at the bottom left as there are 2 logos.
Can anyone help to identify these logos?
It is as if whoever spent the time, money effort to put up such posters – may seem to be embarassed to identify themselves?
How much money spent?
I wonder how much money (whose money?) has been spent on such “propaganda”?
Now, let me get down to the specifics.
Foreign employment surged after the elections?
In 2010, foreign to local employment change was 95,500 to 56,200. But after the general elections in May 2011. foreign to local change actually ballooned to 107,600 against 37,800.
In other words, does it mean that the rhetoric was not matched by the outcome?
Employment change due to declining economy?
Now that the 2012 and 1H2013 statistics show a slowdown in foreign employment change of 59,100 to 58,800 (2012) and 31,700 to 34,100 (1H2013) respectively, the crucial question may be to what extent was it due to a curtailment policy or a slowdown in the economy?
Breakdown of statistics?
To try to answer this question, perhaps what we need are the statistics for the following:
- Breakdown of the locals into Singaporeans and PRs
- An adjustment for new citizens and new PRs (the Population White Paper mentioned 25,000 new citizens and 30,000 new PRs annually)
- Breakdown of new employment passess, S-pass and work permits granted against the number of applications
- Breakdown of renewal employment passes, S-pass and work permits that were not successful against the number of renewals applied
- Breakdown of the employment passes, S-pass and work permits that employers decided not to renew
Categories that are not counted?
Also, as I understand that foreign spouses on Long-Term Visit Passess who are able to work with a Letter of Consent from MOM, are not included in the foreign employment change statistics, as well as foreign university interns who may also not be counted in the foreign worker quota and employment change statistics – what we may also need are the statistics for these categories.
S-pass increase against declining trend?
The S-pass statistics may be rather odd as it went against the overall trend of declining foreign workers. In 2012, S-pass actually grew by 28,500 against just 15,200 in 2011. You can see the huge difference of S-pass against the overall declining trend of total foreign wotkers (excluding FDW and CW), which decreased rom 60,100 to 32,200 from 2011 to 2012.
Arguably, the S-pass may be those jobs that are most wanted by Singaporeans, at the minimum monthly salary of $2,200.