IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/siu/wpaper/01-2005.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Future Job Prospects in Singapore

Author

Listed:
  • Hoon Hian Teck

    () (School of Economics and Social Sciences, Singapore Management University)

Abstract

What forces have shaped our nation’s employment and remuneration record so far? Where is Singapore’s unemployment rate headed? What should policy-makers do about it? These are the questions tackled in this paper. It is shown that based on our historical experience, it would be necessary to achieve an annual real GDP growth rate of 7.1 percent in order to keep the unemployment rate unchanged. Moreover, a one-percentage point shortfall of the real GDP growth rate below 7.1 percent in any given year results in a rise in the unemployment rate of 0.12 percentage points over the previous year. Consequently, if the economy is able to generate at most 5 percent real GDP annual growth rate (the high end of the range of official medium-term projections of our economy’s growth rate, which is 3 to 5 percent), it would seem that the unemployment rate is set to rise from its current level based upon the historical relationship. Is there any reason, however, to believe that the Okun’s Law relationship for a fast-developing country like ours might be expected to change once we have reached the status of a mature economy as we now have become? After all, in a mature economy like the US, the critical real GDP growth rate required to keep the unemployment rate steady is only 3 percent. It is likely that the Okun’s Law relationship would indeed shift as the economy matures. As workers adjust their expectations to the reality that the economy has reached a new lower growth regime and they incorporate their revised growth expectations in their wage bargaining, the unemployment rate can remain steady despite slower growth. This steady structural rate of unemployment is, however, likely to be higher than in the past. In response to the worsened medium to long term outlook for the labor market, one is tempted to ask: Can anything be done by policy-makers to reduce the equilibrium rate of unemployment? I believe that reaching out for a weaker Singapore dollar in order to boost international competitiveness, and so to boost aggregate demand and hence employment, or reaching out for budgetary deficits as a direct means to boost aggregate demand is unlikely to have a lasting effect on the structural rate of unemployment. Instead that it would be better to consider policies aimed directly at influencing equilibrium unemployment. One proposal is to introduce an employment subsidy scheme aimed particularly at low-skilled workers, which has the effect of increasing job creation directly. Increased effort to create a business-friendly environment to encourage new start-ups by ensuring minimal red tape and enabling relatively easy financing for them will also work to increase the pace of job creation. Finally, the work of the Workforce Development Agency aimed at retraining low-skilled and older workers to meet the skills demand of new jobs and then matching them to firms offering the job vacancies should help somewhat in bringing down the structural rate of unemployment as our small geographical area works to our advantage when it comes to job-matching.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoon Hian Teck, 2005. "Future Job Prospects in Singapore," Working Papers 01-2005, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:01-2005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mercury.smu.edu.sg/rsrchpubupload/4832/Job_Prospects_D10.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feldstein, Martin, 1999. "A Self-Help Guide for Emerging Markets," Scholarly Articles 2961700, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hoon Hian Teck, 2012. "An Economic Analysis of Optimum Population Size Achieved Through Boosting Total Fertility and Net Immigration," Working Papers 20-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2009. "Optimal reserve management and sovereign debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 23-36, February.
    2. Fernando A. Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2013. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 67-100, January.
    3. Germana Corrado, 2005. "Liquidity Shocks, Banking System Failures, and Supranational Lending of Last Resort Facilities," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 6(1), pages 1-24, May.
    4. Maurice Obstfeld, 2014. "Never Say Never: Commentary on a Policymaker’s Reflections," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 62(4), pages 656-693, November.
    5. Javier Bianchi & Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2018. "International Reserves and Rollover Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(9), pages 2629-2670, September.
    6. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2004. "Government guarantees and self-fulfilling speculative attacks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 31-63, November.
    7. Marcello Spanò, 2013. "Foreign Reserves as Hedging Instruments in Emerging Countries," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(2), pages 203-230, April.
    8. Takatoshi Ito, 2012. "Can Asia Overcome the IMF Stigma?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 198-202, May.
    9. Astley, Mark & Giese, Julia & Hume, Michael & Kubelec, Chris, 2009. "Global imbalances and the financial crisis," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 49(3), pages 178-190.
    10. Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 2000. "Liquidity Crises in Emerging Markets: Theory and Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 11-78, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Kirrane, Chris, 2018. "What Caused the Asian Currency?," MPRA Paper 93643, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Moser, Thomas, 2003. "What Is International Financial Contagion?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(2), pages 157-178, Summer.
    13. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The social cost of foreign exchange reserves," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 253-266.
    14. Yin-Wong Cheung & Hiro Ito, 2009. "A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis of International Reserves," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 447-481.
    15. Jäger, Kai, 2016. "The Role of Regime Type in the Political Economy of Foreign Reserve Accumulation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 79-96.
    16. Mateane, Lebogang, 2020. "Risk preferences, global market conditions and foreign debt: Is there any role for the currency composition of FX reserves?," EconStor Preprints 227484, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    17. Kurmas Akdogan, 2010. "Foreign Exchange Reserves in a Credit Constrained Economy," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1014, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    18. Tang, Man-Keung & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2009. "The value of making commitments externally: Evidence from WTO accessions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 216-229, July.
    19. della Paolera, Gerardo & Taylor, Alan M., 2002. "Internal versus external convertibility and emerging-market crises: lessons from Argentine history," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 357-389, October.
    20. Prakash Kumar Shrestha, Ph.D., 2016. "Macroeconomic Impact of International Reserves: Empirical Evidence from South Asia," NRB Working Paper 32/2016, Nepal Rastra Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:01-2005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (QL THor). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sesmusg.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.