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Statistics Show: Foreign Worker Numbers Jump while more Singaporeans Become Unemployed


Statistics don’t lie, but they can be quite a bitch.


Why “no need degree”?

We have been wondering and trying for some time now to find the statistics to try to explain why the recent rhetoric that “you do not need to have a degree”?

Well, we think we may have found it.

S-Pass increased 99%?

According to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) web site – in the last 4.5 years, from December 2009 to June 2014 – the number of Employment Pass increased by 55%, from 114,300 to 176,600.

S-Pass increased by a whopping 99%, from 82,800 to 164,700.

Other Work Passes (such as foreign spouses on Letters of Consent) increased by 183%, from 5,200 to 14,700.

Work permits increased only 8%?

In contrast, Work Permits (excluding foreign domestic workers and construction workers) increased by only 8%, from 409,500 to 441,300.

PMET jobs?

We believe whilst the majority of Singaporeans may accept that lower-pay jobs which are often filled by foreign workers on work permits, may be generally jobs that Singaporeans may shun – the Employment and S-Pass may clearly and widely be seen as taking away jobs and depressing wages, particularly for Professionals, Managers, Engineers and Technicians’ (PMETs) jobs that Singaporeans want.

No CPF, no quota, no levy?

Moreover, the Employment Pass and Letter of Consent do not have foreign worker levies and are not counted in the foreign workers’ quota, and together with the S-Pass – also do not require employer CPF contributions.

S-Pass increased at the rate of change of 11 times that of work permits?

As the above analysis show – the S-Pass increased by more than 11 times (99% divided by 8%) on a relative basis, compared to work permits.

“Statistically” unsustainable for degree holders?

So, perhaps the “statistical” reasons for the “no need degree” may be the huge influx of non-work permit foreign workers.

More Singaporeans Lose Their Jobs

Meanwhile, 41 percent more Singaporeans lost their jobs in the last quarter, as compared to the previous quarter.

In the third quarter of this year, 3,400 workers lost their jobs as compared to 2,410 workers in the second quarter.

This is the highest level of redundancy so far this year.


Also, Singaporeans continue to face a higher unemployment situation.

The overall unemployment rate is 1.9 percent but among Singaporeans, this is 2.9 percent. The resident unemployment rate is at a lower 2.8 percent, suggesting that unemployment among citizens is higher than permanent residents.

There was also a lower growth in employment in the third quarter. Employment increased by a lower 27,100 jobs in the third quarter, as compared to 27,700 in the second quarter

The services sector accounted for the bulk of the increase, making up 87% of the growth, or 23,500 jobs. Manufacturing jobs only came up to 300.

However, the services sector also saw the largest losses of jobs, seeing losses of 1,900 jobs out of the 3,400 jobs lost.

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