According to the Straits Times news report “Four manpower priorities for Singapore: Lim Swee Say” (Jun 2) – “After spending his first month on the job meeting employer groups, business chambers and trade associations, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said on Tuesday that he has been able to get their agreement to work towards four priority outcomes.

These are: becoming more manpower lean, building a strong Singaporean core, ensuring the foreign workforce is of good quality and maintaining Singapore’s competitiveness.”

We have been hearing these same rhetoric for years.

Let’s try to let the statistics do the talking.

Unemployment rates of citizens, residents & total workforce

The unemployment rates have always been published as that for Singaporeans, residents (Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) and the overall workforce (including foreign workers).

Should disclose unemployment rates of citizens, PRs & foreign workers

From the available data – number of unemployed residents and Singaporeans, total workforce – I have been able to derive estimates of the unemployment rate as of March 2015, for PRs and foreign workers.

Singaporeans have a much higher unemployment rate

They are 1.9 and 0.6 per cent respectively.

Contrast this to the published unemployment rates of 2.6, 2.5 and 1.8 per cent for Singaporeans, PRs and overall (workforce) respectively.

So, what the above clearly indicates may be that we have not been “building a strong Singaporean core”.

Singaporean workers already the minority?

As to “”If we continue to do so, the ratio of local workers versus foreign manpower will continue to decline…One day Singaporeans will wake up to find ourselves as a minority in our Singapore workforce, and obviously that’s not sustainable, that’s not desirable,” he said.

Other areas such as the national jobs bank will be reviewed, and more details are expected in around a month’s time, he said” – with a total of 153,923 new citizens granted from 2007 to 2014 – what percentage of the estimated 53.3% Singaporeans in the workforce are true-blue Singaporeans?

Are true-blue Singaporeans already “a minority in our Singapore workforce”?


Win battles lose war

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