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Blogger Leong Sze Hian made inaccurate claims about employment numbers, says MOM

SINGAPORE – A Facebook post about Singapore employment figures by blogger and government critic Leong Sze Hian was corrected on Monday (February 7th) by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which said M Leong had made inaccurate statements.

Mr Leong’s post, which was posted on December 26, 2021, cited what he described as “11 employment statistics”, including his claims on the number of unemployed citizens as well as jobs professional, managerial, executive and technical (PMET) occupations by foreigners here.

In his message, he asked if this was the “beginning of the end for Singaporean jobs” and claimed, among other things, that 58% of people in PMET jobs were non-Singaporeans.

Debunking this, MOM said foreigners “do not make up the majority of people in PMET jobs in Singapore”, contrary to Mr Leong’s claims.

In an article published on the government’s fact-checking website Factually, the ministry said foreigners with Employment Passes and S Passes accounted for 22% of all PMET jobs in Singapore in 2020. .

From 2010 to 2020, the number of local PMETs also increased by around 300,000, while the number of Job Pass and Pass S holders increased by 110,000, MOM added.

“This means that not only are there more locals in PMET jobs, but the increase in local PMETs has significantly exceeded the increase in foreign PMETs by about 3:1,” MOM said.

“Competition between locals and foreigners is not a zero-sum game. In fact, the reverse is true.

“By complementing the local workforce with a diverse foreign workforce, Singapore can attract more investment, grow the economy and create more good jobs for Singaporeans.”

Mr Leong, in his December message, had also claimed there had been an increase in the number of unemployed Singaporeans in the “last quarter”.

But MOM countered that from March to June of last year, the seasonally adjusted number of unemployed citizens fell by 10,400, then remained stable from June to September of the same year.

The department added that it is more accurate to look at seasonally adjusted figures when analyzing unemployment trends from quarter to quarter, as unemployment levels can fluctuate due to seasonal events. .

For example, during major holidays, retail businesses and food and beverage outlets typically increase hiring, and during school vacations, more students may temporarily enter the workforce, said MOM.

Clarifying, the ministry noted that the month of June coincides with the period when students are looking for holiday jobs and when new graduates enter the labor market. Thus, the number of job seekers will be higher compared to other months.

Seasonal adjustment removes this effect, he added.