Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A note of about unemployment rates (3.9% in Q1!)

Singapore workers yesterday celebrated May Day facing the prospect of increased unemployment after the government reported that the jobless rate had unexpectedly risen to 3.9 per cent in the first three months of 2005.
[Source: John Burton, Financial Times, 2/5/2005 via Singabloodypore]

I knew about this as early as April the 28th, but neglected to blog it because the change seemed rather small; the Channel NewsAsia headline was: "Singapore's Q1 jobless rate rises to 3.9% from 3.7% in previous quarter" (plus, I'm a little biased. Can you tell? )

Also, I have no idea how variable wage schemes help employers to fire employees without retrenchment benefits, unless the employee's basic wage is ZERO, which is hardly likely. Variable wage schemes are generally used to reward employees during good times, while allowing employers the ability to reduce wages during hard times without the stigma of a "pay cut."

I will note, however, that because the employment laws (particularly executive employment) in Singapore are so business friendly, it is far easier/cheaper for a company here to fire a worker than, say, in Europe.