Slow employment growth “not unexpected” – Manpower Minister

by Miklos Bolza04 Aug 2015
Concerns about the latest government employment figures have prompted a response by the Minister of Manpower, Lim Swee Say, on his Facebook page.
In particular, he noted that the slowdown in employment growth was “not unexpected” since the government had brought in tighter rules on foreign manpower and were encouraging a stronger focus on developing a more productive Singaporean core.
This decrease was revealed on 30 July with the release of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) report, Employment Situation Second Quarter 2015. Figures within showed that overall employment grew by 15,700, which was lower than the 27,000 hired in Q2 2014.
The report also showed that unemployment for Singapore citizens increased from 2.6% to 2.9% from March to June.
In his post, Lim noted that this slight increase occurred despite the country’s tight labour market. “We must make sure that this is not due to a growing mismatch between the skills and expectations of the job seekers versus the skills requirements and job offerings from the employers,” he wrote.
In order to allay any fears, Lim promised to work harder on this issue. “Together with our partners in the unions, business industries and government agencies, my colleagues at MOM and [the Workforce Development Agency] and I are pushing hard and running fast on SkillsFuture to minimise this potential mismatch as we create better career opportunities for Singaporeans at all levels,” he stated.
He finished up reminding readers that the employment situation in Singapore was one of the best globally. “We must strive to keep it this way for as long as we can,” he wrote.
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