By Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the article “Employment and pay for locals go up, foreign employment growth slows” (Straits Times, Sep 16).
The article states that employment in Singapore grew by 27,700 in the three months to June, down from the 33,700 jobs created in the same period last year.
Only 14% of jobs created went to foreigners, with 86% of jobs to locals?
It went on to state that out of the jobs created in the second quarter, just 3,800 jobs went to foreigners, the slowest pace of foreign employment growth since the third quarter of 2009.
So does that mean that the number of jobs which went to locals was 86% of jobs created or 23,900?
But how many new PRs and new citizens granted?
“SINGAPORE plans to give citizenship to between 15,000 and 25,000 foreigners each year, to ensure a strong Singaporean core in the make-up of the country.
The projection is not a major departure from the current situation: In the past five years, an average of 18,500 new citizens have taken the oath each year.
To ensure Singapore can draw on a pool of suitable candidates for citizenship, the Government will continue to do what it has been doing in the past three years – give permanent resident status to 30,000 foreigners a year.” – Straits Times, Jan 30, 2014
If the number of new Permanent Residents (PRs) and new citizens continued to increase at about 55,000 a year (30,000 new PRs and 25,000 new citizens) in a year according to the government’s planning.
The number of jobs created for locals may be as low as 12,900 assuming that about 80% were workers and not dependents (23,900 – 55,000 x 80% divided by 4 quarters).
Unemployed Singaporeans increased by 20,900?
But the number of unemployed Singaporeans increased by 20,900 in the last quarter according to the 1st and 2nd quarter of the Labour Market Report by the Ministry of Manpower. (source 1, source 2)
So, how many of the jobs created went to true-blue Singaporeans?
Perhaps not many?
I came across a case in the last quarter of a foreigner who came on a tourist visa to look for a job. He managed to find an employer who applied for a work pass which was rejected.
The company then appealed and was successful. The foreigner then converted his tourist visa to a foreign work pass.
The company then employed 30% Singaporeans, 10% PRs, 50% foreigners and 10% foreign spouses on a long-term visit pass plus (LTVP) with a letter of consent.
By the way, half of the foreign workers in the company (30% of all the workers) were only employed within the last 6 months.