SINGAPORE: On an annual basis from 2008 to 2013, the unemployment rate of resident degree holders has remained low and relatively stable at an average of 2.9 per cent, amongst the lowest across all educational groups in this period, Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said in a Parliamentary written reply on Tuesday (Oct 7).
He was responding to a question by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Yee Jenn Jong.
Mr Tan said the unemployment rate for such degree holders fluctuates from quarter to quarter. It is typically higher in June each year due to seasonal factors such as the new graduating cohort entering the labour force. This trend is reflected in the recent increase from 2.5 per cent in March 2014 to 3.9 per cent in June 2014.
He added that over the last decade, the proportion of degree holders in the resident population has increased substantially – from 14.4 per cent in 2003 to 23.9 per cent in 2013.
But the proportion of degree holders who are economically inactive only increased marginally – from 10.5 per cent in June 2003 to 11.9 per cent in June 2013. This is significantly lower than the 33.3 per cent of economically inactives in the overall resident population.
The proportion of resident degree holders under the age of 30 who were economically inactive in 2013 is the lowest across all educational groups, at 10.6 per cent. For this group, further education and training as well as childcare were the most commonly cited reasons for being out of the workforce.
Mr Tan said: “MOM (Ministry of Manpower) will continue to monitor the economic activity status of degree holders closely. We will continue in our efforts with tripartite partners to ensure that all residents, including degree holders, have good access to quality jobs, career development and progression pathways.”