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1st time ever in history – S’poreans’ unemployment rate lower than locals?

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By: Leong Sze Hian
More older workers jobless
I refer to the article “Unemployment for Singaporeans falls but more older workers jobless: MOM Q1 labour report” (Straits Times, Jun 13).
S’poreans’ unemployment rate lower than residents’?
It states that “The unemployment rate fell from 3 per cent last quarter to 2.6 per cent for citizens, and from 2.9 per cent last quarter to 2.7 per cent for residents.”
I believe this is the first time ever in Singapore’s history that the unemployment rate of citizens is lower than that of residents.
In the past, I understand that it has always been the reverse.
No breakdown of jobs growth into S’poreans, PRs & foreigners? 
As to “Employment growth slowed at 13,000 jobs from the seasonal high of 16,100 in the previous quarter. This, however, was still higher than the sharp contraction of 6,100 jobs in the same period last year” – although there is no breakdown of the 13,000 jobs growth into Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners – we can try to estimate the number of Singaporeans, PRs and foreigners in the total workforce, from the unemployment rates and the numbers of the unemployed.
Estimated 46.8% of workforce non-S’poreans?
Accordingly, I estimate the number of Singaporeans, PRs and foreigners to be 1,953,846 (50,800 unemployed divided by 2.6% unemployment rate), 283,191 (60,400 divided by 2.7%) and 1,432,163 (total workforce 3,669,200 – estimated 2,237,037 residents) respectively.
This works out to an estimated 46.8 per cent of the total workforce being non-Singaporean (PRs and foreigners).
I believe this is also the first time in the history of Singapore that the trend of an increasing proportion of non-Singaporeans to Singaporeans is now being reversed.
I would seem that the tightening of our foreign labour policies may finally be showing up in the statistics.
PRs unemployment rate higher than S’poreans?
Finally, another way of looking at the unemployment statistics is that the estimated unemployment rates of PRs and foreigners are 3.4 (9,600 unemployed divided by 283,191 workers) and 0.65 per cent (9,315 divided by 1,432,163) respectively, against the 2.6 per cent for Singaporeans.
I believe this is also the first time ever that the unemployment rate for PRs is higher than Singaporeans.

Republished from Leong Sze Hian’s website.

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