Unemployment rate down due to new PRs/citizens?


Is the unemployment rate down due to new PRs and new citizens  granted?

I refer to the article “Lower unemployment in Q3 for Singaporeans; retrenchments down slightly: MOM” (Straits Times, Oct 27).

It states that “In all, the economy employed fewer workers at the end of the third quarter, with total employment excluding maids falling by 2,500 – the third consecutive quarter of decline. However, the contraction was smaller than those of the previous two quarters.

Since the start of the year, the economy has shed 19,800 workers, which the MOM attributes mainly to a decrease in work permit holders in the marine and construction sectors due to low oil prices and less construction activity. The services sector continues to add workers.

Total employment was 3,658,300 as of September.”

“In September 2017, an estimated 71,900 residents were unemployed, higher
than 70,800 in June 2017”

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 citizens granted.

How many new PRs & citizens granted?

If the rate of granting new PRs and new citizens in the first three-quarters of this year is about the same as last year’s – we may have granted about 23,288 new PRS (31,050 x 0.75) and 16,577 (22,102 x 0.75) new citizens up till September .

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

If this is the case (estimate) – how many of the locals’  employment growth in the first three-quarters  of this year went to Singaporeans?

If 60% of new PRs working = 0 jobs growth to S’poreans? 

To illustrate this with an example – if just 60 per cent of the estimated 23,288 new PRs granted were formerly foreigners with jobs – about 13,973 (23,288 × 60%) – perhaps none of the  locals’ employment growth went to Singaporeans.

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

Perhaps this may have also contributed to the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Singaporeans and permanent residents combined (locals) of “3.1 per cent, unchanged from June but 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 and new citizens granted who are working – the resident unemployment rate may not have remain unchanged, but decreased instead.

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.