By SY Lee and Leong Sze Hian
Singaporeans’ unemployment increase to 3 per cent
In the article, “Jobless rate inches up amid tight labour market” (Straits Times, May 1), it is stated that the unemployment rate for Singapore citizens was 3 per cent last quarter, up from 2.8 per cent, while that for residents (Singapore citizens and permanent residents) was 2.9 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent.
According to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Employment Situation First Quarter 2014 report, there were 3,518,700 persons in employment in March 2014.
An estimated 59,300 residents, including 52,300 Singapore citizens, were unemployed in March 2014 while the seasonally adjusted figures were 62,500 for residents and 55,700 for citizens. [Statistics from MOM report.] Only 49.5 per cent of total workforce are Singaporeans?
So, although there is no breakdown of the employment statistics for residents into Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs), if we divide 52,300 unemployed Singaporeans by their 3 per cent unemployment rate, we get 1,743,333 Singaporeans in the workforce.
Divide this 1,743,333 by the total employment in Singapore of 3,518.700, and we get 49.5 per cent.
Therefore, does this mean that about 50.5 per cent of the workforce are not Singaporeans?
If so, then we may have reached a milestone in our labour statistics – with more than half of the workforce being non-citizens for the first time in Singapore’s history.
Whatever happened to the consistent rhetoric in recent years that the influx of foreign labour will be curtailed?
133,033 new citizens = 55 per cent not “Singaporeans”?
If we make an adjustment for the 133,033 new citizenships granted from 2007 to 2013, what percentage of the workforce are not originally Singaporeans? Is this about 55 per cent or more?
150th Press Freedom ranking?
Finally, don’t you feel that there may be something wrong with the title of the subject news report – “Jobless rate inches up amid tight labour market”? In a tight labour market, shouldn’t the unemployment rate go down instead of up?
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