By Leong Sze Hian
We earlier reported that Singapore’s job market shrunk in Q4 2017 despite having attained overall growth of 3.5% in 2017. Much of the growth came from a stellar quarter three of 9.4%, according to a CNA Report.
So the job market expanded and tapered off in Q4 last year. This is not a growth trajectory but just a blip in the overall shrinking market for local workforce.
The mainstream media is trying to sugar coat the facts by running some feel good articles like “Recovery in labour market last year sees fewer layoffs; lower unemployment towards year end” (Straits Times, Jan 26).
It states that “The annual average unemployment rate for 2017 for Singaporeans was 3.3 per cent, higher than the average of 3.1 per cent in 2016. Overall, the rate was 2.2 per cent, higher than the 2.1 per cent seen in 2016.”
Why is it that the increase in the annual average unemployment rate for 2017 was higher for Singaporeans, relative to residents and foreigners?
As to “The recovery in the labour market was also seen in the number of local residents in employment, which grew by 21,300, or 0.9 per cent, last year.
This is almost double the growth in 2016” – with an average of about 30,000 new permanent residents (PRs) and 20,000 new citizens granted per year – how many of the 32,500 local residents’ employment growth in the last two years went to Singaporeans?
If we account for the foreign workers who were reclassified as resident workers when they became PRs or citizens – how many of the jobs went to Singaporeans?