One in 5 Singaporeans expect rise in unemployment
However, less than a third think they will be personally affected.
Tue, Jan 13, 2009
A recent survey conducted by TNS and Gallup International showed that 78 per cent of Singaporeans expect the number of unemployed to rise this year.
However, only 30 per cent of those with employment think that there is a chance that they could be the ones to lose their job.
A great majority, 77 per cent, also feel that Singapore's economic prosperity will decline.
A higher percentage of Singaporeans seem to be more pessimistic, with 63 per cent saying they expect the coming year to be worse for them. This is in sharp comparison to a global average of just 35 per cent. In relation to this, only one in five persons in Singapore (20 per cent) think it will be better while 17 per cent believe it will be about the same. The global averages for these are 27 and 31 per cent respectively.
However, in terms of job security, Singaporeans are more in line with the global response. 66% of working respondents worldwide think unemployment is set to rise, yet only 27% are concerned they will lose their own
Finding a new job
When asked to assess the difficulty in finding a job if they lost their current one, 79 per cent fear that it will take too long and only 17 per cent feel that they will get a new job quickly.
Again, Singaporeans are more pessimistic than their global counterparts, with responses of 54 and 31 per cent respectively.
In Asia, only Japan is more pessimistic than Singapore. Only 13 per cent of Japanese respondents feel that they can find a new job quickly.
China is the most optimistic, with 47 per cent responding that they think they would be able to find a new job quickly after losing their old one.
Commenting on the results in Singapore, Mr. Wade Garland, the Managing Director of TNS in Singapore and Hong Kong, says the increased unemployment forecast reflects the bearish views being expressed by many of the most respected business organizations in Singapore and recently by the Prime Minister.
'Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned in his New Year message that the global financial crisis had hit Singapore hard, and that the economic outlook was uncertain. The government now expects Singapore's GDP to come in between a decline of 2% and growth of 1% in 2009, which is lower than the previous forecast of a 1% decline to 2% growth made earlier in November. Currently the unemployment rate in Singapore is around 2% and GDP has declined by 12.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and revised downwards its growth estimates for 2009,' he comments.
'Media reports of these types of forecasts, the financial difficulties of several major local retailers, falling property prices, and the layoffs already taking place in some companies have made people realise that the global economic turmoil is having an impact on Singapore. Surprisingly this is not yet undermining their confidence about their own personal future in the coming year,' he adds.