Manpower Minister insists that S'pore youth unemployment rate is low

Manpower Minister insists that S'pore youth unemployment rate is low

SINGAPORE - Replying to a question raised in Parliament by Non-Contituency Member of Parliament Yee Jenn Jong, the Minister for Manpower, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, said that Singapore's youth unemployment rate has remained low by international standards.

Mr Yee, from the Workers' Party, had pointed out that the 2013 Labour Force Survey reported that unemployment rate for degree holders below the age of 30 is 7.4 per cent. He had asked the minister for the reasons "behind this relatively high unemployment rate" and whether the Ministry of Manpower is taking actions to address the issue.

In his reply, Mr Tan said that youth enemployment rate in Singapore across all educational levels has remained low, compared to other advanced economies like the United States, Europe, Hong Kong and South Korea.

He also said that youth unemployment rates is typically higher than overall unemployment rate, and that this pattern is reflected in the unemployment rate of 7.4 per cent for degree holders below 30, compared to the overall unemployment rate amongst degree holders of 3.6 per cent in June 2013.

He attributed the higher unemployment rate to new graduates joining the job market and higher incidences of job switching as young graduates figure out what they want to do, "rather than any systemic difficulty in securing employment".

The minister also pointed out that the unemployment rate for youths aged 15 to 24 has come down from 2009 "and has remained largely stable for the recent few years".

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