Growth in foreign employment in 2023 mostly in jobs Singaporeans don’t want: MOM

Growth in foreign employment in 2023 mostly in jobs Singaporeans don't want: MOM

Resident employment has increased every year since 2019 as the government worked to protect jobs during the pandemic, but the number of EP and S Pass holders at the end of last year had not recovered to the level seen before COVID-19 hit.

“The larger proportion of growth attributed to EP and S Pass holders last year did not affect PMET resident employment at all,” said Dr Tan.

He noted that there is a global shortage of skilled talent, and that cities around the world are competing for investments and for human capital. 

“To stay competitive and to nurture a vibrant corporate ecosystem, we need to ensure that our businesses can access talent and they can expand,” he said. 

CLOSE TO FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR RESIDENTS

As for jobs for residents, MOM said that Singapore is close to full employment. The resident employment rate was 66.2 per cent in 2023, which is among the highest rates among advanced economies.

The resident unemployment rate and long-term unemployment rate were also low, at 2.7 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively. 

Between 2013 and 2023, the number of resident PMETs grew far more than the number of EP and S Pass holders, the minister said.

Specifically, in growth sectors such as finance, infocomm and professional services, resident PMETs increased by 190,000, while the number of EP and S Pass holders grew by 20,000.

Dr Tan pointed out that MOM regularly updates the qualifying salaries for EPs and S Passes to ensure that the holders are of high-quality and maintain a level playing field for locals.