According to economists who read the latest employment report published yesterday (Dec 13), Singapore’s unemployment rate is expected to worsen and it is too soon for the government to assume otherwise.
The current unemployment rate of Singaporeans is 3.2% and total employment has decreased 4,100. The unemployment rate for the year is at it’s 8-year high since 2009.
Maybank economist Chua Hak Bin commented that companies are not hiring as expected, and blamed the foreign worker quota for the sluggish employment figures:
“Companies are not investing and hiring as aggressively as they did in past economic cycles, as restructuring and a stricter foreign worker policy has thrown a spanner into Singapore’s labour market.”
CIMB economist Song Seng Wun pointed out that the GDP figures are improving only because of the manufacturing boom, and to worsen matters, employment figures in the manufacturing sector is instead declining:
“The economic outlook for this year was raised primarily due to the manufacturing boom but growth remains uneven in other sectors. The boost in manufacturing has not seen a growth in employment in the sector as of the third quarter of this year… Manufacturing saw a decline in employment this year, with 10,100 workers shed in the first three quarters compared to 8,900 in the same period a year ago.”
According to state media CNA, the dictatorship regime is optimistic about the economy and have repeatedly revised the GDP figures upwards from 1.5% to 3.3%. The ruling party government also claimed that the employment rate has improved because the Singaporean unemployment figure dropped 0.1% in a quarter.