The number of discouraged workers under the age of 30 has increased to 1200 from last year’s 700 according to the MOM’s advance release on the labour force two weeks ago.
Of the 9,900 discouraged workers, almost 70% were aged above 50. While unemployment has been associated with employers rejecting candidates because of their age, the 2nd largest group was surprisingly those under the age of 30.
The MOM report gave some possible reasons on why job-seekers decided to stop looking for work. Such reasons include a perception that there are no suitable work available or the lack of necessary qualifications, training or experience.
Even for those who are lucky to find jobs, they may find themselves in a situation of underemployment.
Earlier in January, private universities in Singapore began holding their own graduate employment survey. James Cook University estimated that only 7 in 10 graduates found a job within 6 months of graduation. Of these, 30% made less than $2,000 a month.
NUS sociologist Tan Ern Ser said in an interview with The New Paper today (12 Dec) that “Our young people have been brought up to believe in the Singapore Dream – they want to be able to purchase a flat, settle down and enjoy a decent standard of living.”
The article interviewed one Accounting and Finance graduate Haziq Baharudin who “spent a year sending out hundreds of resumes” but failed to secure a permanent job before joining his friends in SteamHaus, which sells steamed buns at events.
Leong Sze Hian asked, “To what extent has the huge influx of foreigners to an estimated non-Singaporean share of the total workforce to 48 per cent now, and our liberal foreign labour policies contributed to the above?”