Screenshot of Lim Swee Say from Facebook video

Unemployment rate among residents have reached an 8-year-high with 1.3 jobseekers for every job vacancy in Singapore. Despite manipulation with the official unemployment rate, the government was forced to declare a 3% annual average resident unemployment rate for 2016.

The Singapore government manipulates the unemployment rate by declaring some 37,000 full-time National Servicemen as employed, grouping jobseekers who are married women as housewives and the elderly jobseekers above the age of 65 as retirees instead of unemployed. Actual estimate for Singapore’s unemployment figure is closer to 4%, or at least a full percentage point higher than the official figure.

In the government’s official manpower report, retrenchment rate also rose 23% with 19,170 fired in 2016. Long-term unemployment rate for degree holders reached a 13-year high of 1%, despite having immigration authority issuing employment passes to foreign degree holders.

The Singapore government however blamed the job losses on “financial crisis” and “economic downturn” without explanation, even when major markets in US and China, along with Singapore’s neighbours in South East Asia are still doing well.

As part of the propaganda effort telling Singaporeans to accept retrenchments, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said in a forum yesterday (Mar 15) that Singaporeans should be “open to change” and pay for qualification upgrades to improve their employment resilience.

State media is also trying to mitigate the “negativity” of unemployment by publishing fake news including one of a government survey claiming “experts” increased GDP forecast estimates.