Spot the difference?

Can someone please tell me why both news reports are so different?

The Straits Times:

Record 2.3m employed with jobs on upswing
Nearly 50,000 more jobs in first six months; year-end total likely to better 71,400 in 2004

By Chua Mui Hoong and Sue-Ann Chia

AFTER years of job losses and concerns about a jobless recovery, the labour market has seen a definite turn for the better and the jobs outlook is looking its best in 4 1/2 years, Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen said.

In fact, Dr Ng said he had never felt so optimistic about the job situation since he came into Government and became the Minister of Manpower.

When he entered the ministry in 2002, there were 22,900 job losses and fears of a recession.

Then, when the economy picked up, concerns were voiced about a ‘jobless recovery’ – growth not matched by a rise in employment.

‘Neither of these doomsayer forecasts have come true. The economy has rebounded, jobs are coming,’ he said in an interview with The Straits Times.

The number of people employed is at a record level: 2.256 million as at June this year.

Today Newspaper:

So many jobs created, still so many jobless
Almost 49,500 jobs were created in the first half of the year

Job creation is at its strongest in four-and-a-half years, but that has not led to a significant fall in unemployment, the Ministry of Manpower said yesterday.

According to its paper on the latest trends on employment and labour supply, the unemployment rate stands at 3.4 per cent, only slightly lower than the 3.6 per cent a year earlier.

This despite gains of 49,500 jobs for the first of half of the year, more than double the 24,600 over the same period last year.

Economic growth has not yet solved the problem of structural unemployment, where there is a skills mismatch between lower-educated job seekers and the new jobs created.

Much of the job growth is occurring mainly in higher paying positions occupied by professionals, managers, executives and technicians, which collectively form almost 50 per cent of local employment.

But with retraining and jobs redesign, the ministry is optimistic that lower-skilled Singaporeans can “look forward to securing employment so long as the economy continues to grow”.

It added that more people are entering the labour force to seek work, buoyed by the increased job opportunities from the economic upturn.

That’s why we always need plurality, if not for any reason but for a difference of opinions so that we know not to trust one singular source. The Straits Times editorial only focused on the positive side of jobs creation and provided only the most minimal indication that the “doomsayer forecasts” were untrue. But in Today, what we see is that its not the case – structural unemployment still exists and the jobs created were for the “higher paying positions”, though good in itself does not benefit those who do not possess the necessary skills. I’m always thankful that we can at least read another newspaper like Today to get an alternative view on issues in Singapore. Aren’t you?

[This is by far the most satirical website I have come across about Singapore by Mr Lucky Tan. Its freaking hilarious! 😀 Read his take on the article in the Straits Times.][I also realised that Today may not be as critical of the government as I thought it to be. Well Sour_bodhi, maybe ALL newspapers are controlled by the government, but in my opinion the degree is somewhat different. Read Molly Meek’s entry about the reporting on the World Press Freedom Index. Its so hilarious! I leave you with a quote from Ms Molly Meek!]

“Which is why Molly is VERY, VERY worried. If the special circuntstances circumstances (whatever they are) demand that we adopt a radically different model from the decadent Western free press, then aren’t we heading towards doom when our ranking (under the decadent standards) keep improving. My, my! Molly is very worried. Burn more paper dollars for Molly and she will try her best to bless poor Singaporeans who are now threatened by the free press.”


2 Responses to Spot the difference?

  1. sour_bodhi says:

    Straits Times or Today, they’re both influenced greatly by govt views. The above dichotomy was prob just a coincidence, and it’s not on a particularly contentious issue either.

  2. ~fatma says:

    i guess e labour participation rate increased? so even though employment rose, unemployment rate did not decrease significantly..

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