Monday, March 16, 2009

Interesting unemployment stats for December last year

CNA has threw out some interesting statistics on our unemployment rate for last December. The resident labour force unemployment rate has risen from 2.4% in December 2007, to 3.7% in December 2008. However, the overall unemployment rate has risen from 1.7% in December 2007, to 2.5% in December 2008.

Considering that 36% of the 2.95 million people working in Singapore are foreigners, those results would translate to mostly Singaporeans getting the cut. It will also be interesting to know the definition of resident labour force, since the government likes to mix PRs and Singaporeans together as one group.

With this kind of statistics, it's no wonder that the government came out with the Job Credit Scheme in Jan to stem this flow. They are also going down hard on phantom workers, which has been going on for quite some time. I mean look at the statistics and you can see something is wrong. 36% of the working population are foreigners?

I guess they've finally realised that the guys who live here are being priced out. And rightly so. How do you fight price with someone who just rents a flat with some friends, live minimally, and mostly will be remitting most of the money home?

I also do not think that the jobs that they are taking over are the jobs that Singaporeans do not want to do. In fact, I know quite a few people in my line who can do the job, and do it pretty well too. But most have been "driven out" of this line.

Sometimes, it's not that Singaporeans are choosy. Just that for the most of us, we have a life other than work. We have families, we have friends, and we have hobbies. That's what life means, and this work-life definitely has a direct impact on Singapore's birth rate.

You want us to work like no tomorrow, rarely see our family and friends, and have no time for hobbies, then I might as well be an expat and work overseas instead of working in Singapore. It would make no difference to me. What I can see at least in my line is that at the very least, Singaporeans do not have a communication problem. And that, is very important in any line of work.

The unemployment rate will be interesting for Jan and Feb. That was when the Job's credit scheme was announced. Logically, the unemployment rate for locals should improve. Hopefully...


Daniel Ling said...

Sometimes, it's not that Singaporeans are choosy. Just that for the most of us, we have a life other than work. We have families, we have friends, and we have hobbies. That's what life means, and this work-life definitely has a direct impact on Singapore's birth rate.

Hi good point. Have been trying to find a good phrase for this local vs foreign issue. =D

additionally for the jan and feb figures, the unemployment for foreign logically should increase also. But if the figure decrease, it may be due to the foreign leaving SG due to lack of work.

Rin 。 said...

We have too many foreigners working in SG. Do we really need these talents? MM Lee said we do need them.

But Singaporeans ain't talents ourselves!?

I don't understand. I loose my sense of belonging here..

ITS TOO PACK! For the busese and trains too.

chantc said...

Do Singaporeans work in construction sites? Do they work at kitchen helpers? Do they work as cleaners?

Conversely, if someone like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs want to migrate to Singapore, do we kick them out and say Singaporeans have talents like them?

Sometimes, the truth can be a little hard to swallow.

Davy said...

UNSKILLED LABOUR cannot be defined in accordance to the Queen's English as "talent".

When foreign "talents" arrive here to work in the unskilled workforce (e.g. waitressing, cleaning), they drive out our semi-literate elderly workers on costs. Are these "talents" going to pick up the slack of looking after them since our beloved government wont'? What do you want of these older Singaporeans? To starve & die in the streets?

The truth that there is a current selling out of national identity, interests and its people, is also a bit hard to swallow.

Starving IT Guy said...

Another dose of reality:

The so-called foreign talents in Singapore are nothing but economic refugees capitalising on Singapore's infatuation with its mainland "Chinese" lineage. As far as that go, the imports are seldom talents worth keeping because they are poor, insular and mercenary who will leave for greener pastures at the 1st opportunity. To put Bill Gates in the same category as the opportunistic, semi-civilised horde that Singapore calls Foreign "talents" is an insult to Mr Gates. Not forgetting overseas remittance means Singapore loses money from local circulation.

When you indiscriminately import en masse from the 3rd world like what Singapore has done, you'll be importing 3rd world status and its attendant social problems to indelibly add to your own. Period.

chantc said...

Before we start pushing the blame around, take a look at this site here.

Basically, there is a quota for people who are paid under a certain amount. There are rules that govern the hiring of foreign workers, unless they are PRs. Criteria of PRs I've no idea but I do know they have to serve national service. If you do see a whole lot of foreign workers in your company, it might be your boss doing the "phantom worker" trick. Just ask around if they are PRs. If most are holding S passes, something is wrong. If they are holding employment passes, then something must be wrong with Singaporeans because the boss rather pay above $2,500 to hire a foreigner than to hire a Singaporean.

Singapore is basically importing many unskilled workers in (R Pass). Yes, if we look at the viewpoint of a Singaporean, we will argue, why are we not letting our older folks take up jobs in cleaning, waitressing, etc.

Two reasons. First reason. If we remember not so long ago, the papers interviewed many people on old folks taking these jobs, and the feedback was negative. Children do not want their parents to work in those kind of jobs, even if it is just MacDonald. Next reason. From the viewpoint of the business owner, they will rather hire someone younger to be a cleaner for example as they have more energy.

For example, you're in-charge of cleaning the toilets of a factory that have 6 levels. Do you know how tiring it is to clean 6 levels of toilets twice a day? Furthermore, if you get a complaint, they will have to go down and clean it again. Who will be responsible if the old folks fall down during the course of work?

The fact is that some jobs are not meant for old folks, and they should not be doing it. So if the young don't do it, the old cannot do it, who will do it?

I'm not encouraging foreign imports, and some bosses take advantage of this "cost" factor and hire them over us. I still remember last year some person commented on my post that if I do not want to work, he/she can hire 3 foreign workers to take over my position!

So the question is... Is the foreign import rules not strict enough, or are the bosses finding loopholes to play Singaporeans out?

Singaporeans playing Singaporeans out. The irony...

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