Jobs: 2003 (locals 5,500, foreigners -27,900) – 2015 (locals 700, foreigners 31,600)?

Slowest employment growth since 2003

I refer to the article “Total employment growth last year slowest since 2003: MOM” (Channel NewsAsia, Mar 15).

It states that “Total employment growth in Singapore grew by 0.9 per cent last year, making it the slowest growth since 2003 when it was -0.6 per cent, according to the latest statistics by the Manpower Ministry on Tuesday (Mar 15).

700 local jobs vs 31,600 jobs growth to foreigners?

Local employment growth was flat (700 jobs) for the whole of 2015 after high growth in the previous two years, while foreign employment growth moderated to 31,600, or 2.3 per cent.

A world of difference between 2015 & 2003?

You know what is arguably, the most significant difference between 2015 and 2003?

2003 – 5,500 local jobs growth vs 27,900 contraction in foreigners’ jobs?

In 2003, locals’ employment growth was 5,500 against a contraction of 27,900 for foreigners.

So, in the last slowest employment growth in 2003 – foreigners shrank whilst locals’ growth continued.

But now, only 2.2 per cent (700 divided by 32,300) of the employment growth went to locals.

Labour policies that “turn on its head” against locals?

Surely, there must be something very wrong with our labour policies – when in the past during a downturn – locals’ jobs grew a lot relatively whilst foreigners’ jobs shrank – compared to now – locals’ jobs hardly grew against relatively huge foreigners’ jobs growth (97.8 per cent)!

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.