According to the latest Joint Graduate Employment survey conducted by NUS, NTU, SIT, SMU and SUTD, 21.6% of the graduates were unable to find a full time job in 2017. The figure is higher than the 20.1% than a year before in 2016. Despite being ranked among the best in Asia and the world, 10.6% of the 2017 cohort have to work freelance or part-time.
Even the prestigious Yale-NUS school saw a 6.7% unemployment rate.
State media Straits Times defended the jobless rate by quoting fake “human resource experts”. A David Leong from a recruitment agency said that many graduates prefer to further their education or go for a long “overdue” holiday before working. A Ronald Lee from another recruitment agency said freelance and contract workers are well paid.
The government survey was conducted in Nov 2017, and polled 11,628 graduates in full-time courses. However, the statistics exclude part-time students and there is no breakdown on the nationality of the graduates – many of whom are ASEAN scholars on fully-sponsored scholarship by the Singapore government.
The median monthly salary including CPF is S$3,400, S$100 higher than a year before. Graduates from business, economics and computing reported higher wage increases, with engineering graduates forming the bottom percentile.