Sunday, June 16, 2013

Unemployment Low, Don't Worry Foreigners Didn't Steal Jobs

Citizen unemployment rate is unchanged at 2.9%, and about 50,000 citizens were unemployed according to MOMmy. There were also job vacancies, 21,900 (43%) of lobangs in March 2013 were for PMETs and 29,200 (57%) were for non-PMET jobs like cleaners, labourers, service workers. That means there is job and skill or worker mismatch, structural unemployment especially in the blue collar, shift, and physical type of jobs. There are jobs but they are not being filled up. So the intake of foreigners is a cause of unemployment according to those No 6.9 Million herd, or an effect of structural unemployment? Hmmm structural unemployment is a problem that has to be addressed tho. Retraining is the mantra NTUC and the government kept repeating. Is it really working?

Which sectors are hiring? With the number of houses being planned and built, construction (8,400) was among the lead sectors Broadly, services (21,000) were also a big recruiter. What it means is that foreigners are being hired here more tho as locals usually don't go into down and dirty construction and service work. Manufacturing, in contrast, shrank its recruitment.

Redundancy declined and with US economy recovering hopefully if the tapering of QE is a sign in the entrails laid out, that trend is going to hold. As everyone knows, those affected most by redundancy were those 40 and over (more expensive, less productive, slower to learn and adapt) and they formed 2/3 of the entire cohort of those let go in first quarter of 2013). 75.2% of those made redundant were PMETs. So based on statistics and if you want to keep your job if you are over 40, your best chance would be you have a post-secondary (non-tertiary) education instead of a degree. Who says ITE is It's The End LOL. Also helps if you are in the sale, service and clerical line.

Job vacancies up, unemployment low: MOM

SINGAPORE: Job vacancies in Singapore rose in the first quarter of this year while unemployment remained low, revealed a report released by the Ministry of Manpower on Friday.

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate stayed low at 1.9 per cent in March, compared to the 1.8 per cent registered in December 2012.

The unemployment rate for Singapore residents rose to 2.9 per cent from 2.7 per cent while the citizen unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.9 per cent.

Long-term unemployment also improved slightly over the year; 13,700 unemployed residents making up 0.6 per cent of the resident labour force in March 2013 had been looking for work for at least 25 weeks, down from 14,000, or 0.7 per cent, a year ago.

Total employment grew by 28,900 in the first quarter of 2013, substantially lower than the seasonal high increase of 44,000 in the last quarter of 2012 but slightly above the 27,200 in the first quarter of 2012.

This brought total employment to 3,386,500 in March 2013, which was a 4.0 per cent increase on-year.

The number of workers made redundant in the first quarter of 2013 stood at 2,120, marking a decrease from the 3,350 workers affected in the preceding quarter and the 2,600 in the first quarter of 2012.

Job openings also rose after declining in the previous quarter, with seasonally adjusted vacancies increasing over the quarter by 17 per cent in March 2013, reversing the decline of 7.0 per cent in December 2012.

The seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons rose from 1.05 in December 2012 to 1.21 in March with the increase in job vacancies.

Ian Grundy, head of marketing and communications at Adecco, commented: "Job seekers clearly have more choices now but they can't get complacent. The best jobs, the good jobs are always going to go quickly and job seekers, even though they have more choices, have still got to negotiate sensibly and seize the right jobs when they come around quickly."

Recruiter Randstad said the rise in job vacancies reflected the strong business confidence in Singapore.

It shows employers are focused on growth and are proving to have the strength in their balance sheets to replace or create new roles as needed, it said.

Randstad added that unemployment remained low as demand for professional talent in Singapore remains buoyant, despite broader economic uncertainty.

With the continued tight labour market, demand for experienced and skilled staff is being felt within the financial services and insurance, information technology, research and development, and the retail and hospitality sectors, it said.

However the HR firm said that "even with the declining layoffs in the past quarter, it remains crucial that jobseekers and current employees do not get complacent and continue to update their skills and qualifications.

"This will not only add value to their workplace, but will also ensure that they remain relevant in today's tight labour market."

The "Labour Market, First Quarter 2013" report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower's website at

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