Photo of Lim Swee Say from Jason Quah Today

Speaking to the media over the latest employment statistics, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say today (Jan 28) said that local employment including Permanent Residents grew 0% in 2015, or 100 jobs, but said that there is “no cause for panic”. However, 31,700 jobs were created for foreigners in 2015.

The Minister blamed baby bloomers for the low local employment growth, saying that they are entering retirement age which is why the local workforce is stagnated or declining:

“Over the next five years, local employment growth would likely hover at about 1 per cent. Looking beyond that, this decline is likely to continue because our local workforce growth will eventually meet a negligible growth, if not stagnation, given that the baby boomer generation is now entering retirement age”

Lim Swee Say however expressed optimism for job opportunities for foreigners saying that he estimate that foreign workforce growth will continue at about 2%.

Singapore has entered a recession and the latest MOM figures indicated a 22,400 job loss for the manufacturing sector. 14,400 workers were also laid off in 2015, a 6-year-high since 2009.

The survey also found that the bottom 20 percentile continue to see stagnant wages of only 2.1% per annum real growth between 2010 and 2015.