Why unemployment rising (2 pages)?: No mention of foreigners?

Photo: By Andree Lüdtke/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0Photo: By Andree Lüdtke/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I refer to the article “Why is unemployment rising: 3 burning questions on jobs” (Sunday Times, May 7).

It states that “The unemployment rate crept up from 2.2 per cent last December to 2.3 per cent in March, hitting the highest level since December 2009.

Back then, Singapore was recovering from the global financial crisis. This year, on the other hand, economists are upbeat about prospects after stronger-than-expected growth last year.”

Why is there no mention that the unemployment rate for citizens was 3.5 per cent in March?

Why is it that a two full-page Insight report on “why is unemployment rising?” makes no mention at all on arguably, the obvious (following) reasons that may be contributing to rising unemployment?

2016 employment growth: 10,700 locals, 5,700 foreigners

In 2016, employment growth was 10,700 for locals and 5,700 for foreigners.

2015 employment growth: 700 locals, 31,600 foreigners

In 2015, employment growth was 700 for locals and 31,600 for foreigners.

35% non-S’porean tertiary students?

About 35 per cent (estimated) of the total undergraduate and graduate student enrolment in our public universities are non-Singaporeans.

Compete with S’poreans when they graduate?

Most of the foreign students are required to stay and work after their graduation for at least three years.

Tourists come looking for jobs?

Why do we allow practically anyone in the world to come as tourists – apply for jobs and stay when they find one?

20,000 new citizens, 30,000 new PRs a year?

On the average – 30,000 new permanent residents (PRs) and new citizens have been granted per year.

2015 – 20,815 new citizens & 29,955 new PRs?

In this regard, according to the article “New citizens need to get involved in all aspects of local life: Josephine Teo” (Channel NewsAsia, Apr 13, 2016) – “There were 20,815 new citizens, and 29,955 new Permanent Residents (PRs) in 2015, as the Government kept its “calibrated pace of immigration””.

Compared to the 20,348 new citizens and 29,854 new PRs in 2014 – this is an increase of 2.3 and 0.3 per cent respectively.

174,166 new citizens & 378,740 new PRs from 2007 – 2015?

This brings the total number of new citizens and PRs granted from 2007 to 2015, to 174,166 and 378,740, respectively.

It is already May now, and I believe the statistics on the number of new citizens and new PRs granted last year, have still not been released or reported in the media yet.

194,000 new citizens & 409,000 new PRs from 2007 – 2016?

If it is still the average of 20,000 new citizens and 30,000 new PRs a year – does it mean that the estimated number of new citizens and new PRs granted from 2007 to 2016, may be about 194,000 and 409,000, respectively?

2016 – 10,700 locals’ jobs growth vs 30,000 new PRs/20,000 new citizens?

As there were only 10,700 locals’ jobs’ growth last year – if the new PRs and new citizens granted last year was also about 30,000 and 20,000, respectively – how many of the 10,700 locals’ jobs went to Singaporeans?

2015-16: Employment growth – 11,400 locals, 37,300 foreigners?

In the two years from January 2015 to December 2016 – employment growth was 11,400 for locals and 37,300 for foreigners.

2015-16: 60,000 new PRs, 40,000 new citizens?

So, with an estimated 60,000 new PRs and 40,000 new citizens granted in the two years from 2015 to 2016 – how many of the 11,400 locals’ jobs went to Singaporeans?

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as 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), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.