MOM’s Real Data on Jobs for Singaporeans More Alarming than Dr Chee’s “Misunderstanding”

The Ministry of Manpower has accused SDP chief Dr Chee Soon Juan of painting an “alarmist picture” of the job market for Singaporeans.

This comes after his rally speech for the Bukit Batok by-election on Tuesday, when he said:

“In all of last year, the Government created only 100 jobs. Yes, you heard it right, 100 jobs for citizens and permanent residents. That means, one job per constituency. Voters of Bukit Batok, only one job was created per constituency. How many of you voters here think you are going to fight for that one job if and when you are retrenched?”

The MOM says Dr Chee “misunderstood” the data.

It says that the “100” referred to by Dr Chee was MOM’s preliminary estimates for the increase in local employment in 2015.

“This difference, or the ‘net’ number of new jobs taken by locals, was 700 in 2015 and it does not reflect the total number of new jobs for locals.”

The 700 figure put forward by MOM is a far cry from the 96,000 new jobs taken on by locals in 2014, and is a mere fraction of the figure in 2013, where locals took on 37,900 new jobs.

The MOM says it’s a reality that workforce growth has slowed.

It put this down to smaller cohorts of younger workers entering the workforce; larger baby boomer cohorts exiting it.

The MOM added that Singapore’s employment rate of 80.5 per cent for residents aged 25 to 64 is “already relatively high by international standards and cannot grow much further”.


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