Tuesday 16 June 2020

Essential and Non-Essential Jobs

So an article on Straits Times was recently released on top 5 essential jobs and top 5 non-essential jobs. I have to say that there were lots of commotion especially among my friends as I see them on Instagram sharing their thoughts. 

Firstly, let's have an understanding of essential and non-essential business. Essential businesses are ones that the public rely on in their day-to-day life. This includes banks, hospitals, supermarkets and pharmacies. They carry supplies necessary for survival, both in the long and short-term. In contrast, non-essential businesses are those that people frequent for pleasure, like gyms, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and concert halls, among others.

Do note that the above are defining BUSINESSES, NOT JOBS. This can defer for individuals whether or not they are essential as we place importance on different things that we want. 

In the poll, the top essential jobs are doctors and nurses while the top non-essential job is an artist. They are deemed to be a non-essential job as the entertainment business is for pleasure usually. However, to be honest, how are we able to deem if they are essential or non-essential. Artists covers a large spectrum of the entertainment industry and entertainment has been what's keeping us sane during this period. 

Many jobs have been created due to a surge in demand or due to technology advances for example 15 years ago, no one thought being a YouTuber or social media influencer was going to be a profitable job.  Of course, we can see that the top 3 jobs that Singaporeans do not want to do are very labour-intensive. And in that sense, we know that they are not well-paid as well. 

This sentence mentioned in the article by Nominated MP Walter Theseira really got me thinking
"He cited examples of how prices for professional services, such as fees for doctors, lawyers and teachers, have risen over time although their productivity has not risen proportionately."
This was in response to tying wages to productivity (completion of tasks). 

It is very difficult to pay a person based on the number of completed tasks as different job entails varying degrees of tasks. 

With all being said, Brian from A Path to Financial Freedom Forever summed it up well saying that the article wasn't defined very well and rather insensitive. 

Overall, the pandemic has brought to our attention jobs that are definitely essential during times of crisi however they have not been well-compensated.

I take some jobs for granted like the cleaner who cleans our estate, the construction worker who builds our home and roads. I believe that their jobs are definitely essential and should not be forgotten. I do feel that some jobs deserve a higher pay than they are currently having as there is value that they bring to the community. 

1 comment:

  1. If you don't let labels get to you then that article means nothing. It's a cheap shot to get viewership, much like clickbait.

    Do you think the writer really cares he/ she is an unessential journalist & rather be an essential nurse or cleaner LOL.

    As for doctors, do you see many go specialise in infectious diseases or public health? Both of which are in the bottom payscale for medical specializations. Or they rather specialise in other areas?

    What's most important is whether you wake up everyday feeling that you're essential to yourself & your family. And that requires effort & relationship building.

    After that, it's to ensure your livelihood is as stable & secure as can be, to provide for loved ones & yourself.