Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jobs for foreigners, NS for S'poreans?

About a month ago, on 9 March 2006, Today reported that Manpower Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen says that more than 55% of the 110,800 jobs last year went to citizens and PRs, which is supposed to be great for Singaporeans.

On the very same day, Yahoo! Singapore held a online poll on if it is fair that 55% of the 110,800 jobs created last year went to Singapore citizens and PRs.

And here is the results:

Well, it is pretty clear to me that a great majority of the Singaporeans don't think that way.

Anyway this picture pretty much summed it all up.

Thursday, March 9, 2006
New jobs went to S'poreans
More than 55% of the 110,800 jobs last year went to citizens and PRs, says Minister

Lee U-Wen

THE majority of new jobs created last year went to Singaporeans, and not foreign nationals. Singaporeans and permanent residents secured 61,000, or over 55 per cent, of the total 110,800 jobs created in 2005.

This was the "highest annual employment creation on record" for locals — exceeding even the pre-Asian financial crisis levels, said Manpower Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen yesterday in response to queries by various MPs in Parliament.

Considering an average of 31,000 jobs went to locals in the last five years, last year's employment growth was "particularly robust", said Dr Ng.

Stating that unemployment levels are likely to remain stable, Dr Ng promised that there would be enough jobs for new entrants into the workforce, barring any unforeseen events such as an avian flu outbreak or rising oil prices.

The challenge ahead, he said, remains in dealing with Singapore's increasingly shrinking workforce. "Beyond 2010, labour growth will slow significantly as a result of declining fertility rates and the ageing of our baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — as they pass the age of 50 years," he told the House.

The minister said that efforts had to be stepped up to encourage more older workers to remain working, stay productive and work beyond the retirement age, through existing initiatives such as the job recreation programme, which has been injected with another $40 million by the Government.

On the Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs), a group which has been adversely affected by restructuring, Dr Ng said that on average last year, 65 per cent of those retrenched found a new job within six months, a rate which is above the national re-employment rate of 61 per cent. This was the "highest re-employment rate" in the last four years.

Last year, PMETs also made up the largest share of private sector job vacancies at 37 per cent, which is nearly double the figure of 19 per cent back in 1995.

Above all, Dr Ng told the House that his Ministry's budget debate this year was being held during much better economic and employment conditions compared to previous years. "We've resisted quick and ineffective fixes. We didn't succumb to calls for protectionist policies to shut out foreign workers and impose minimum wages. We avoided unemployment insurance.

"These policies would have led to economic stagnation and more job losses."

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