Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say stated in Parliament earlier on 9 January that more than 98 percent of local resident employees were offered re-employment upon reaching the age of 62 in 2015.
He was responding to Dr Lim Wee Kiak who asked about the Ministry’s projection on unemployment for the first quarter of 2017, what is the average waiting time for local and foreign university graduates to get into the workforce under current circumstances, and how is the softer job market impacting on the older people who are in the workforce.
The Minister said that this has contributed to the increase in the employment rate of local residents aged 55 to 64, to a high of 67.3 percent in June 2016.

However, Mr Lim noted that the unemployment rate for those aged 50 and above also went up from 2.1 percent in Sep 2014 to 2.3 per cent in Sep 2016, as well as a corresponding rise in the long-term unemployment rate from 0.8 per cent to 1 per cent over the same period.

He stressed that the government will continue to provide extra support to encourage the employment of older workers, which includes the Special Employment Credit. It is a wage offset of up to 8 percent of monthly wages for hiring Singaporean workers aged 55 and above who earn not more than S$4,000 a month. The government is also providing extra career and employment support to older workers under the Adapt and Grow initiative, he said.
Mr Lim also noted that the government is also providing extra career and employment support to older workers under the Adapt and Grow initiative, saying that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will continue to work closely with our tripartite partners to extend support to all local job seekers as the country goes through this period of economic transition.
According to the Minister, 9 in 10 graduates of autonomous universities here found jobs within six months of the completion of their final examinations in 2015, which is consistent with the previous three cohorts.
In a separate response, Mr Lim stated that the government makes a special effort to help older job seekers and the long-term unemployed.
He noted that the outcome has been “encouraging”, saying, “Over the years, the profile of workers placed by our career centres has become more inclusive. The share of PMET placements has increased from 10 percent in 2007 to 37 percent in the first nine months of 2016, while the proportion of older workers aged 50 and above has increased from 29 per cent of 39 per cent over the same 10-year period.”
“What is most encouraging is that 35 percent of those who successfully found jobs in the first 9 months of 2016 were previously long-term unemployed for six months or more,” he added.
However, the Minister did not respond to the question on what is the Ministry’s projection on unemployment for the first quarter of 2017 and whether the softer job market impacting on the older people who are in the workforce.
Also, MOM stats of unemployment is only based on quarterly stats or whatever measurement that suits its statistics. Individuals who have given up the search for employment, are no longer considered as the pool of unemployment and neither are those who have been looking for employment for an extended period of time.

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