Photo of Lim Swee Say from thestraitstimes

In the latest employment figures released by the Ministry of Manpower today (July 30), the unemployment rate for Singapore citizens have risen by 0.3% to 2.9%. Employment growth declined 6,100 in the first quarter of 2015 and bounced back a little to 15,700 in the second quarter. The employment growth figures for 2015, compared to the same quarter in 2014, is a decline of more than 40%.

Photo from Ministry of Manpower
Photo from Ministry of Manpower
Photo of Lim Swee Say from thestraitstimes
Photo of Lim Swee Say from thestraitstimes

The Manpower Minister, Lim Swee Say, in his Facebook page, commented that the unemployment rate is still low despite the “tight” labour market and that it is “one of the best in the world”:

“It is still low but has crept up from 2.6% to 2.9% for citizens even though the labour market is still tight…

Our employment situation is by no means perfect, but it is one of the best in the world. Our employment rate is one of the highest globally while our unemployment rate is one of the lowest.”

The new Manpower Minister seems to be unaware of the oxymoron in his public statements because if the labour market is seeing a shortage of manpower, how could the unemployment rate be rising?