Got a job?
According to news reports such as this, Singapore’s unemployment rate is at its lowest in 14 years! In contrast, Europe’s jobless record is at its peak. Chances are if you’re in Singapore, it is highly likely you are a job holder. But if you are in Europe, times are tough now.
“The jobless rate in the 17-country euro zone hit 10.4 per cent in December, the European Union’s statistical agency, Eurostat, said Tuesday. That’s the highest level since 1998, just before the launch of the common currency. About 16.5 million people are out of work in the euro zone, up more than 750,000 over one year.” (Reguly, 2012) Online article available here
The youths, the country’s future have been forced to become migrants, in search of a job. David Charter’s article in The Times on 28 Jan 2012 titled “Jobless record shows European dream has forsaken the young” highlights that 5.6m of Europe’s under 25s are on the move for work because there was no work to be found back home. The same tune of unemployed youths was highlighted in Reguly’s article.
It is important to appreciate the low unemployment rate in Singapore, particularly in the midst of global economic slowdown. Singapore’s economy remains vulnerable. What is happening in Europe could easily happen in Singapore. As PM Lee shared in his Chinese New Year message, “…The Year of the Dragon is likely to see more uncertainty in the global economy. Fortunately, Asia is still prospering, but Singapore is already feeling the slowdown in the West. This is one of the reasons we project 1-3% growth this year. It will be prudent for us to be psychologically prepared.” (Complete message available here)
The Singapore Government has already started strengthening social safety nets to look after those who need assistance. For those who can work, learn, adapt and start to work. Work while there are jobs in the market and remember there are others who are in more challenging circumstances than us.
For my European readers, remember, tough times don’t last but tough people do!