Jobs creation: Actual vs projections?


Are rosy jobs creation projections a far cry from the actual statistics?

I refer to the article “Foreign investments will remain steady this year: EDB” (Straits Times, Jan 31).

It states that “The changing nature of the local economy and the workforce will likely mean the amount of foreign direct investment here will remain similar to that in recent years, although with fewer jobs created.

But that will likely result in 16,000 to 18,000 new jobs being created – down a few thousand on the past two years, due in part to slower growth in the local workforce and the differing nature of the jobs being generated.

“Even as we create fewer jobs, more Singaporeans take up these jobs and they are better-quality jobs.”

When fully implemented, these projects will create 22,500 new jobs, exceeding the original forecast of 19,000 to 21,000 new positions.”

There have been rosy projections of jobs creation practically every year.

Let’s look at the actual numbers.

Local jobs growth in the last three years, from 2015 to 2017 was 33,200.

Is this way below the jobs creation projections of about 20,000 a year – which should be a total of about 60,000 in the last three years?

However, this is not the whole story.

There is no breakdown of the locals jobs growth into Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs).

With an average of about 30,000 new permanent residents (PRs) and 20,000 new citizens granted per year – how many of the 33,200 local residents’ employment growth in the last three years went to Singaporeans?

If we account for the foreign workers who were reclassified as resident workers when they became PRs or citizens – how many of the jobs went to Singaporeans?

So, what is the “real” unemployment rate for true-blue Singaporeans?

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.