More nuanced study of jobs data needed

I applaud the Government's efforts to address the issue of rising unemployment in a very timely manner.

However, more can be done with the data on jobs and unemployment (Jobless rate for S'poreans and PRs holds steady; April 29).

It would probably be more effective to conduct a more nuanced study of the data, and formulate and implement measures that target specific groups.

For instance, an analysis with a focus on demographics could reveal if the unemployed are mainly made up of women who had just conceived.

If so, then addressing this would also touch on our birth rate issues.

Perhaps the Government's encouragement to have more babies is causing unemployment to rise, as the women become stay-at-home mothers.

This is just one of the many target groups the data could encompass.

The data could also reveal problems that come with being a Smart Nation.

The push for robotics may have incited fear in citizens, resulting in many opting to conduct their own businesses from home or pursue plans other than being employed.

There may also be some citizens who are deterred from making use of SkillsFuture to upgrade themselves and adapt to change, as they are not able to spare time for it or are unsure of the exact benefits of the training courses.

To address these issues, measures have to be put in place for citizens to be assured that they would be able to keep up with the technological changes.

Cheryl Chua (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2017, with the headline 'More nuanced study of jobs data needed'. Print Edition | Subscribe