10 February 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!

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