mollymeek (mollymeek) wrote,

He Stress, You Stress, I’m Stressed

It is not that Molly wants to behave like a bimbo again, but she really wonders what a good news station like Channel NewsAsia is doing with an article with a title that goes “PM Lee hopes Spore's good economic momentum will continue into 2006.” What hopes? Who doesn’t hope the good economic momentum will continue until the elections 2006? Of course everyone hopes that the good economic momentum if it’s there in the first place will continue. Is this is very newsworthy? Or is it a bad title for a news article? But CNA is a good, world-class, responsible station, isn’t it?

Molly thinks PM Lee’s speech is so much more inspiring: “. . .Bonuses are reasonable, there are some wage increases. So I hope that it would be sustained, it shows that we are doing the right thing, we are in very volatile times, if we can maintain five percent growth we will be doing alright." And if we can’t? Can we? Oh sorry, Molly is being too nosey.

Look at how artistic the news article is though. First, it says:
“Mr Lee stressed that one of the key factors that would determine Singapore's sustained economic growth would be its continued efforts at skills upgrading and restructuring.”

One sentence later, the article goes:
“He stressed that one of the key factors that would sustain Singapore's economic growth was continued efforts at skills upgrading and job restructuring.”

The structure of the article itself embodies the emphasis. Repetition. Impressive, isn’t it? At first Molly thought that her eyesight had failed, but she was wrong. Ah, the sort of things bimbos do…

Molly even thought that the idea that economic growth requires skills upgrading and job restructuring sounds very familiar. Did she hear the same thing before a couple of years ago? My, my… Look at Molly’s silliness. Of course not! It’s News! And it helps to be in the news for whatever reasons or no reason at all. When the Star Awards comes, starts want to be in the news. When elections come, politicians... Sorry, sorry... Molly has digressed.

In any case, it is good (since we are talking about the new economy, skills upgrading and all) that the CNA is getting pretty innovative. For instance, in yesterday’s news, we were given a nice little riddle to solve.

An article says that:

“12% of Singapore employers to increase hiring
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of 641 employers across all sectors shows 12 percent saying they will be hiring more people.
Three percent expect decreases in their workforces, while 77 percent do not expect changes in their staffing level.”

Wow, that means, we don’t have to worry about being retrenched because of the pressing need for restructuring. There will always be more and more jobs. The last time Molly heard, taxi companies want more taxi drivers. But I don’t know how reliable this rumor is, so please don’t get rejoice too early.

Anyway, as Atypical Singaporean asks:

“Hold on.

100%-77%-3%-12%= 8%

What happened to the 8% remaining? Going out of business?”

Very good riddle, isn’t it?

Actually, Molly has an embarrassing question. Forgive the bimbo, please. The question is regarding another claim: “This means a net employment outlook of +9 percent.” What does this mean? Really, the CNA people should know that one of its regular readers is a bimbo and doesn’t make connections all that well. Can some kind soul please tell Molly what that means?

Regardless of Molly’s question, the good article offers other nice statistics:

“Thirteen percent of employers surveyed in these industries [finance, insurance and real estate] say they are optimistic about hiring beginning next year. 

Although the number in this group has dipped by 8 percentage points over a quarterly period, it remains the strongest among all the employers surveyed.”

In other words, in the finance, insurance and real estate industries, fewer employers are going to employ people. How sad. Sorry, I mean, how good it is that these sectors are still the strongest!

Then: “Employers in other sectors like public administration and education (12 percent), services (11 percent) and transportation and utilities (11 percent) are also confident of creating jobs.”

Oh yes! It’s true, I think we are going to have more taxi drivers and bus captains! More teachers too! And good old MOE. Being the ministry of education, it sure knows what statistics are about. Oh, sorry… no one said it’s MOE that’s employing teachers. Molly was being presumptuous.

But, my, my… The statistics are getting confusing. Molly’s headache’s coming back.

“The survey, however, showed that although employers across all sectors indicate they are likely to take in employees, this figure has actually dropped on a quarterly basis, by an average of 13 percentage points.”


Firstly, we are told that 12% of 641 employers (regardless of the sector) say they will employ more people.

Then, we are told that each sector, on average, has fewer employers intending to employ more people. So? Was Molly wrong to say that we don’t have to worry about retrenchment anymore? Was Molly wrong? Is it going to be more difficult competitive to find jobs than ever?

What’s going on? What? Help!! Molly is stressed! What’s going on?

So is the 12% figure in the title of the article a good or bad thing? My, my… Molly regrets sleeping in Statistics 1101. Molly really regrets…

Molly appeals to the media to bimbo-proof their articles. Please… Molly is a big fan.
Tags: confusion, media, reporting for the sake of reporting, singapore, statistics

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