Total employment shrinks for 1st time in 5 years

According to the Straits Times news report “Total employment shrinks for first time in 5 years: quarterly MOM report” (Jun 15) – “The number of people employed in Singapore tumbled by 6,100 in the first quarter of the year, the first time in five years that employment has contracted.

Total employment, at 3,617,800 in March, was still 2.7 per cent higher than a year ago, according to official quarterly figures released by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Monday.”

No breakdown into S’poreans, PRs & foreigners

Why is there no breakdown of the decrease in total employment into Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners?

Are Singaporeans more affected by the shrinkage?

As to “despite this, unemployment continued to fall, with the seasonally-adjusted rate down to 1.8 per cent overall, from 1.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. The rate for citizens also creeped down to 2.6 per cent, or around 47,800 people, from 2.7 per cent in the previous quarter” – the unemployment rates have always been published as that for Singaporeans, residents (Singaporeans and PRs) and the overall workforce (including foreign workers).

Should disclose unemployment rates of citizens, PRs & foreign workers

From the available data in the Labour Market first quarter 2015 report released on 15 June – on the number of unemployed residents and Singaporeans, and the 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 2.0 and 0.7 per cent respectively.

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

What is perhaps interesting to note is that the decrease in the unemployment rate was the worse for Singaporeans, from 2.7 to 2.6 per cent, compared to 2.7 to 2.5 per cent for residents.

So, are Singaporeans more affected by the shrinkage in total employment, relative to PRs and foreigners?

Long-term unemployed – degree workers worse off

For the 11,200 long-term unemployed for more than 25 weeks – degree holders were the only education category which saw an increase from 0.5 to 0.7 per cent, from December 2014 to March 2015.

Re-entry into employment – degree holders worse off

Degree holders also had the lowest rate of re-entry into employment, declining from 48.6 to 46.2 per cent.

Perhaps this may have something to do with the rhetoric that a degree is not so important!

Redundancy – PMETs worse off

For those made redundant – PMETs were the highest at 72 per cent.

Win battles lose war

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