More locals employed, growth of foreign workers slows in 2013

March 14, 201412:13 pm356 views
More locals employed, growth of foreign workers slows in 2013
More locals employed, growth of foreign workers slows in 2013

SINGAPORE: More locals were employed in 2013, while the growth of foreign workers slowed.

According to the 2013 Labour Report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), unemployment remained low and more jobs were created, mainly for locals.

The seasonally-adjusted citizen unemployment rate was low at 2.8 per cent in December 2013, slightly lower than the 2.9 per cent in December 2012.

Local employment rose 4.0 per cent, more quickly than the 2.9 per cent in 2012.

Amid the foreign manpower tightening measures, foreign employment gains continued to moderate in 2013, at 4.2 per cent, compared to 5.9 per cent in 2012.

And driven by the tight labour market and lower inflation, real income growth strengthened.

MOM said the growth in real median monthly income (including employer CPF contributions) for full-time employed Singapore citizens was 4.6 per cent in 2013, up from 1.2 per cent in 2012.

MOM expects labour demand to remain strong in 2014, with the Singapore labour market further tightening this year as previously announced foreign workforce policy measures come into effect — which will place upward pressure on wages.

It added that firms must continue to improve productivity and reduce reliance on manpower.

The current high rate of local workforce growth will be difficult to sustain in the long run due to demographic constraints.

Labour productivity growth has also lagged behind income growth slightly in the past five years.

Following several quarters of negative or flat growth, labour productivity rose over the year by 1.6 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively in the third and fourth quarters of 2013.

This was mainly driven by improvements in the manufacturing sector, and wholesale and retail trade industry, as well as the continued productivity growth in the finance and insurance industry.

But construction and the remaining service industries continued to see flat or negative productivity growth.

Taking into account the poorer productivity growth in the first half of 2013, overall labour productivity growth was flat in 2013, an improvement from 2012 when labour productivity declined by 2.0 per cent.

Over a five year period from 2008 to 2013, labour productivity growth was 1.5 per cent per annum.

MOM said firms will need to implement more manpower-lean methods of driving business growth in order to survive and thrive.



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