Reflecting on 2016

I refer to the article “Reflecting on 2016” (Straits Times, Dec 29).

It states that “December may just be a routine month in the calendar for some, but for others, the end of the year is a time for reflection, contemplation and New Year resolutions. We celebrate milestones, remember relationships lost and found, think about mistakes made”.

The Top 10 Jobs “Statistics” of 2016?

1 Security guards: Basic pay up 38%, but gross pay up 8%?

2 Retrenched workers hit a 7-year high

3 Long Term Unemployed (LTU) Share – at 30.3 per cent is at a 10- year high

4 Degree holders formed the highest proportion by education of the long-term unemployed

5 Age 50 and over formed the highest proportion by age of the long-term unemployed

6 Ratio of job vacancies to unemployed at 10-year low

7 Not offering re-employment – compensation increased to $5,500 – $13,000

8 Hawker centre cleaners’ median basic wage target of $1,200 by June 2015 announced in 2012 not achieved – deferred to 2019

9 Hawker centre cleaners’ basic and gross median wage is only $1,000 and $1,100, respectively

10 No minimum wage in Singapore – still as low as $5 an hour

“Manpower issues biggest obstacle for local firms”

Looking at the above – is it any wonder that according to the article “Manpower issues biggest obstacle for local firms” (thenewpaper, Dec 28) – “Manpower issues remain the biggest challenge for local firms here, according to a Singapore Business Federation survey released yesterday.

Rising labour cost is the toughest challenge for about eight in 10 companies.

Rules and regulations as well as retention of younger workers are also high-priority areas.

The high neutral scores mask a sense of disappointment with recent Government policies for businesses.”

Breaking point of years of liberal foreign labour policies?

Have we reached arguably, in a sense – the breaking point of out liberal foreign labour policies over the years, which may have contributed to our labour woes today for Singaporean workers as well as businesses? Not to mention our economic woes – 1.4 per cent forecast GDP growth for 2016!

Happy New Year

Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Contributor

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