New PRs granted may mean 0 jobs growth to S’poreans and the unemployment rate up, not down?

I refer to the article “Labour market shows slight uptick in first half of 2017: Manpower Ministry” (Straits Times, Sep 14).

4,000 more locals employed

It states that “By June 2017, 4,000 more Singaporean and permanent resident workers were employed than at the end of last year – the first time in three years that local employment grew during those months, the Manpower Ministry (MOM) said in a statement.”

31,050 new PRs and 22,102 new citizens a year?

Last year, we granted 31,050 new PRs and 22,102 new citizens.

Highest in 13 years?

These were at seven and 13-year highs, respectively.

In other words – last year’s figures were the highest in the last 13 years for new citizensgranted.

How many new PRs & citizens granted?

If the rate of granting new PRs and new citizens in the first half of this year is about the same as last year’s – we may have granted about 15,525 new PRS (31,050 divided by 2) and 11,051 (22,102 divided by 2) new citizens up till June.

How many of the “jobs growth” to S’poreans?

If this is the case (estimate) – how many of the 4,000 locals’  employment growth in the first half of this year went to Singaporeans?

If 26% of new PRs working = 0 jobs growth to S’poreans? 

To illustrate this with an example – if just 26 per cent of the estimated 15,525 new PRs granted were formerly foreigners with jobs – about 4,037 (15,525 × 26%) – perhaps none of the 4,000 locals’ employment growth went to Singaporeans.

If 60% of new PRs working – unemployment rate up not down?

Similarly, for the purpose of illustration – if 60 per cent  of the 15,525 new PRs granted were formerly foreigners with jobs – about 9,315 (15,525 x 60%) – perhaps this may have contributed to the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Singaporeans and permanent residents combined (locals) decreasing to 3.1 per cent in June, down from 3.2 per cent in March.

After all, a 0.1 per cent drop in the residents’ unemployment rate is only about 2,200 resident workers.

In other words, if not for the estimated number of new PRs granted who are working – the resident unemployment rate may not have gone down.

Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Contributor

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