10 Feb 2006

Ministry of Manpower non-reply

When bureaucrats are caught red-handed massaging figures...
"MOM refutes FT report on jobless rate" [Buried on page 5 of the Home section!]
by Leslie Koh

The Manpower Ministry (MOM) has refuted a Financial TImes report that suggested it had changed statistical methods to lower Singapore's jobless rate. The four-year low of 3.2 per cent last year was due to a record number of jobs created, it stressed, and not because of a change in how the ministry measured unemployment. The methodology was revised last year to match international standards, MOM said, adding that it had been issuing employment data using the new method since last June.

The Ministry was reacting to a Feb 1 article by writer Jim Burton, which said that Singapore's latest jobles rate "was flattered by a recent change in how the data was measured". It noted that the SIngapore Government had last year decided to include foreign workers with temporary work permits when measuring unemployment. This effectively reduces the overall jobless rate because unemployment among foreign workers is much lower than among SIngapore residents.

Utter mendacity, malevolence, incompetence, and sheer disconnection from reality!

Somehow MOM has forgotten that government mouthpieces ST and Channelnewsasia reported the unemployment rate as 2.5% - and not 3.2%.

Somehow MOM has forgotten that the 3.2 per cent figure was flattered flattened into 2.5 per cent because it included the foreign workers.

Somehow MOM tries to play a non sequitur argument, misreading that the FT took issue with the 3.3% unemployment rate was 'flattered' into a 3.2% rate.

Somehow MOM insists that the Singaporean rate of unemployment benefitted more from a 'record increase in jobs' - without showing that these jobs actually went to Singaporeans more than they went to foreign workers.

Impeach Ng Eng Hen. Impeach him now!


rench00 said...

aiyoh... such vehemence.

i don't think that this non-truth warrants an impeachment of the Minister la. it's just his way of trying to get re-elected only mah.

but yes. i do agree that they paint a much more sanguine picture than what is actually happening on the ground. the distribution of wealth that has been reportedly generated is very uneven. hardship cases abound.

Anonymous said...

Since Sg govt always like to compete with other countries for everything to be the first or world-class, why can't MOM also set a regulation that the employers in sg, including the govt sectors, cannot be so picky to go for younger workers only.

Jobs will be available to anyone who has the kinowledge, experience and the skill, regardless of age, sex, marital status, etc, and also including the handicaps, can have an equal chance of getting the jobs that are available.

To do so, personal details such as age, sex, marital status shall not be printed and asked in the job application forms in order to avoid job discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Also, to ban those irresponsible employers who could not take good care of the lives of their maids, shall be banned from engaging any more maids in the future.

All these come under the jurisdiction of MOM. Rather than visiting this country here and there, such as a recent 3-day visit by Ng Eng Heng to Brunei and discussed about defence or education issues.

soci said...

the piece itself has also made an error. the FT reporter is called John Burton not Jim.

akikonomu said...

Great, soci. But is that any deviation from MOM's usual pattern of medacious, incompetence, and shamelessness?

lee hsien tau said...

Anyway, since the new jobs he is able to create is overwhelmingly in 'services', s'pore forex reserves sure to shrink when ministers draw million dollar salaries - money drain.