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Is 2015 the year of slowest local employment growth in decades?

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By: Leong Sze Hian
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)!

Republished from Leong Sze Hian’s website.

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