By: Leong Sze Hian
Long-term labour force participation rate dips
I refer to the article “Long-term labour force participation rate on uptrend despite 2016’s dip” (Channel NewsAsia, Nov 30).
It states that “It also noted that while the unemployment rate has been broadly stable from 2012 to 2015, in the range of 2.6 per cent to 2.9 per cent, both male and female unemployment rates rose from 2015 to 2016 amid the weaker economic environment.
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate 3%
During that period, the overall resident unemployment rate rose from 2.8 per cent to 3 per cent, seasonally adjusted, MOM said.
Delving deeper, the ministry said the employment rate for residents aged 25 to 64 in 2016 was 80.3 per cent, and it was similar to 2015’s 80.5 per cent, as the increase in female employment rate offset the decrease for males.
Males 25 – 54: declined to lowest employment rate since 2009
However, among males aged 25 to 54, the employment rate declined to its lowest since 2009, it added.”
Non- Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increase to 4.1%
According to the MOM report – the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for residents increased from 3.8 in 2015 to 4.1 per cent in 2016 – with 92,300 unemployed residents.
No S’poreans unemployment rate?
What is the unemployment rate for Singaporeans, as it has historically been higher than the rate for residents?
42.2% of males outside labour force due to “education/training related”
A whopping 42.2 per cent of males who were “residents outside the labour force by main reason for not working and not looking for a job, June 2016” were “education/training related (includes pursuing full-time study, pursuing part-time study, awaiting for the start of academic year, awaiting national service (NS) call-up, awaiting examination results and attending courses/training)”.
The continuing rhetoric on skills upgrading, training and retraining may arguably, mask the state of unemployment in Singapore.
Degree holders – largest outside the labour force
As to “14% or 144,900 residents outside the labour force in 2016 indicated their intention to look for job within the next 2 years, i.e. they were potential entrants” – degree holders formed the largest group at 34.1 per cent.
Does this indicate that the more educated you are – the more likely that you may want to enter or re-enter the workforce, but are currently not employed?
“Information and Communications” highest unemployment rate
Since “Information and Communications” had the highest unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent – why is it that we keep hearing the rhetoric that this sector has a lot of vacancies and demand particularly for PMETs is increasing?
Is it due partly to competition for jobs by foreigners and PRs?
“Clerical, Sales and Service” highest unemployment rate
With regard to “Clerical, Sales and Service” workers having the highest unemployment rate of 5.3 per cent – this is rather puzzling as I understand that the highest vacancies are also in this category.
Is it due partly to Singaporeans losing their jobs with fierce competition from foreigners – and finding it hard to get re-employed?