Current and future economic climate of Singapore

Singapore is a little state with barely any natural resources except human resources. Singapore had low beginnings as a trading centre functioning the British East India Company in the nineteenth century. With Raffles ‘ deft administrative planning and direction, it rapidly morphed from a inert small town to a dynamic port that flourished on transshipment center trade. With its transmutation pulling immigrants from all sides, Singapore ‘s economic system flourished.

Since deriving independency from Britain in 1965, Singapore has seen its economic system expand an norm of 8.7 per centum a twelvemonth, adjusted for rising prices, impeling it from the Third World to the First World in little more than a coevals. For about three decennaries since 1970, Singapore besides, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, have registered singular economic growing of 6 % – 8 % per annum. Some bookmans have called these hyper-growth economic sciences, while others referred them as Asiatic tiger economic systems. These are many surveies done to unknot the factors lending to the marvelous growing of these economic systems. A noteworthy illustration is one by the World Bank in 1993 which identified the factors responsible for rapid growing as ( 1 ) high economy and investing rate ( 2 ) high and turning human capital formation, ( 3 ) rapid growing of exports ( 4 ) prudent macroeconomic policies and direction, and ( 5 ) appropriate establishments which foster government-private sector co-operation and the creative activity of a business-friendly environment. Of class, the above factors are non the lone 1s and neither can any individual one of them claim the full of growing creative activity. ( Toh.M.H and Ng. W.C, 2002 ) . This is true as Koh & A ; Wong ( 2004 ) , highlighted in their study that in the instance of Singapore, sound economic planning and concerted attempts by the Government to pull foreign investings were cardinal factors behind its phenomenal growing gait, averaging 8 % per annum, since the state gained independency in 1965.

In the 1970s Singapore development theoretical account moved from an industrialisation scheme to a higher and more sophisticated fabrication, which included, among others, computing machine peripherals and parts, and package bundles. The 1980s saw a scheme passage towards the engineering intensive sectors. From the early 1990s the strategic way was focused on high cognition intensive companies, and one that entailed globalisation and regionalization challenges. The development of the Singapore Science Park to provide to such installations is one of the attempts to advance such concerns in Singapore. Subsequently, development has been driven by both high value added production and concern and IT services. Although Singapore had experienced double-digit growing from the late eightiess to the 1990s, as a consequence of the 1997 Asiatic fiscal crisis, the Singapore economic system grew by merely 1.5 % in 1998 ( see Figure 1. ) ( Sim, Ong & A ; Agarwal, 2003 ) .

Figure 1. Singapore ‘s GDP at current market monetary values: 1960-2000

In epoch 2000, in contrast to the economic prosperity in the epoch of growing from 1987 to 1997, when Singapore experienced sustained high growing in both the fabrication and services industry, the Singapore economic system is presently traveling through a new epoch of growing discontinuity with some swings from double-digit growing in one twelvemonth followed by a fleet contraction in the following. For illustration, the economic system contracted by 0.1 per centum in 1998 after turning by 8.5 per centum in 1997 ; thereafter it expanded robustly by 6.9 per centum and 10.3 per centum in 1999 and 2000, severally, merely to contract once more by 2.2 per centum in 2001. The economic system grew by 2.2 per centum in 2002 but slipped back to 1.1 per centum growing in 2003 as a consequence of the eruption of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ( SARS ) . Although Singapore ‘s GDP rebounded to 8.8 per centum in 2004, the economic system ‘s impulse could slow if down rhythms in the planetary electronics set in.

Such growing discontinuity can be explained by several new planetary, regional, and domestic developments. From a planetary position, surveies have shown that planetary semiconducting material and related electronics rhythms have shortened progressively since 1996, reflecting the shortening life spans of such merchandises. Since the electronics sector still constitutes about 40 per centum of the democracy ‘s fabrication activities as of 2004, fabrication is hence likely to see volatile growing before the full padding impact of variegation, such as the move into chemical-related merchandises, life scientific disciplines, and preciseness technology, sets in. From a regional position, Singapore ‘s traditional neighboring backwoods, including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, has become much weaker economically and more unpredictable politically since the 1997 Asiatic fiscal convulsion. In footings of competition in export-oriented fabrication activities and pulling foreign direct investing ( FDI ) , the out of the blue strong outgrowth of China as a regional economic human dynamo, coupled with the sharpened competitory border and growing schemes of Malaysia, has resulted in the weakening of Singapore ‘s comparative cost fight. In footings of the domestic economic system, Singapore has developed from being a factor-driven, input-cost-effective economic system in the sixtiess and 1970s to an investment-driven, extremely efficient economic system in the 1980s and 1990s. As the economic system moves into an innovation-driven stage, the gait of the restructuring procedure is likely to accelerate further in the new millenary.

In 2009, the Singapore economic system shrank 2 % with the building sector the lone one to post double-digit growing. Manufacturing, which accounts for the biggest portion of the state ‘s GDP contracted by 4.1 % , go forthing the authorities worried. However, as the planetary economic system picked up, so did the Singaporean economic system. Showing surprising resiliency, it was the fabrication sector that led the manner along with the export industry.

And the consequences were nil short of dramatic. The economic system power-surged its manner to an amazing 18.8 % growing year-on-year in the 2nd one-fourth of 2010. Much of the searing gait of growing has been driven by a rise in the end product of biomedical fabrication, and continued enlargement in the state ‘s electronics sector. This bantam province, in September 2010, held the differentiation of being the fastest turning economic system in the universe, an unbelievable accomplishment for a state that is frequently eclipsed by much bigger Asiatic human dynamos like Thailand, China or India.

Today, Singapore is ranked as a developed economic system and the bantam metropolis province has some of the best substructure in Asia, if non the best quality of life in Asia, harmonizing to the Economist Intelligence Unit. With a unusually corruption-free environment, Singapore is ranked foremost in the easiness of making concern out of 183 economic systems, harmonizing to the 2010 Doing Business Report published by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

( B ) . Current Economic Performance

For the whole of 2010, Singapore economic system expanded by 14.5 per cent, compared to the contraction of 0.8 per cent in 2009 ( Figure 2 ) . The enlargement was across all sectors of the economic system. The fabrication sector rebounded strongly, turning by 30 per cent in contrast to the diminution of 4.2 per cent in 2009. Although the building sector rose by 6.1 per cent, this was a moderateness of the growing of 17 per cent in the old twelvemonth.





Overall GDP Growth


Other Servicess


Financial Services


Hotels & A ; Restaurants




Transport & A ; Storage


Business Servicess


Information & A ; Comms









Per Cent

Figure 2: GDP and Sectoral Growth Rates in 2010

The services bring forthing industries grew by 11 per cent in 2010, change by reversaling the 0.7 per cent diminution in 2009. Externally-oriented sectors such as sweeping and retail trade and conveyance and storage increased by 15 per cent and 6.0 per cent severally. The other services industries expanded by 14 per cent, up from 5.2 per cent in the old twelvemonth, chiefly led by the humanistic disciplines, amusement and diversion section which rose by 123 per cent. Business services besides picked up in 2010, lifting by 5.9 per cent compared to 4.3 per cent in 2009. Growth was supported by the existent estate section every bit good as professional services such as legal and accounting services.

Following the crisp recoil in 2010, Singapore economic system is expected to turn at a more modest but healthy gait in 2011, given the go oning recovery in cardinal external economic systems ( Figure 3 ) . In peculiar, the steady, albeit modest gait of growing in the advanced economic systems will impart support to Singapore ‘s fabrication activities. Buoyant domestic demand in Asia will go on to drive intra-regional trade flows, and profit the sweeping trade sector. Rising visitant reachings, peculiarly from the key markets within the part, is expected to profit Singapore ‘s tourism-related services sectors. In add-on, domestic factors such as capacity enlargements in the electronics and biomedical fabrication bunchs, every bit good as the gap of new attractive forces at the Integrated Resorts, will bolster economic activities in 2011.

2010 ( Estimate )

2011 ( Forecast )

World Trade 12.0 7.1



World GDP



United States












Hong Kong SAR



South Korea






Dutch east indies







7.3 – 8.0

3.0 – 5.0



4.0 – 6.0

Beginning: Assorted official Beginnings, IMF and Consensus Forecast

Figure. 3: GDP and World Trade Prognosiss

However, the growing mentality remains vulnerable to downside hazards, notably concerns of autonomous debt sustainability in the peripheral EU economic systems. There are besides concerns that farther pecuniary tightening in Asia to chasten inflationary force per unit areas could chair the gait of regional growing. Domestically, supply side factors such as a tight labor market could besides potentially constrain growing for some sectors.

Aware of the downside hazard, the Singapore authorities ‘s schemes to confront growing with justness in a globalized universe chiefly concentrate on turning the economic system and edifice capablenesss. The Government defined its vision 2018 as ;

In a globalised economic system where Singapore is the cardinal node in the planetary web, linked to all the major economic systems ;

A originative and entrepreneurial state willing to take hazards to make fresh concern and blaze new waies to success ; and

A diversified economic system powered by the duplicate engines of fabrication and a services, where vibrant Singapore companies complement transnational corporations, and new startups co-exist with traditional concerns working new and advanced thoughts.

Population: Singapore

Singapore as a state is a good illustration of how multicultural societies build such a vivacious state in footings of economic system, degree of competence that among the highest in the universe, their degree of instruction is on par or among the best in the universe. Population in Singapore comprises of different sort of races that sort of similar with its neighbouring states in the South East Asiatic part. The diverse and multicultural construction of Singapore population provides diverse, alone & A ; suited scenes to make and construct vibrant and first-class environments for a strong and healthy economic system.

Singapore economic system success narrative is a good illustration of how a little population state can go the largest economic power in the South East Asiatic part and besides among the largest economic system in the Asiatic part after Japan, South Korea & A ; China. To farther expression into the diverseness of Singapore ‘s demographic, several informations and surveies has been used to better explicate how certain scene of populations can go a positive subscriber in the economic growing of peculiar state.

What makes Singapore a alone state to analyze? Why other state in the South East Asiatic part deficiency of compared to Singapore? In footings of fight, it is believed that each of the states in the South East Asiatic part has equal chances to pull a moneymaking Foreign Direct Investment ( FDI ) . In footings of resources, Singapore is non blessed with a huge wood that waits to be exploited such as it neighbours of Malaysia and Indonesia. But why Singapore able to go a good illustration of sustainable economic system and at the same clip provides an adequate room to bring forth growing quarterly or yearly.

For the context of Singapore issues, the author chose to follow a information of Singapore ‘s demographic obtain from the Singapore Demographic Bulletin, January 2010. The informations obtain from the bulletin are provided from Registry of Births and Deaths of Immigration & A ; Checkpoint Authority. The figures from the informations are deems valid until January 2010 as its topic for alterations from clip to clip.

The undermentioned tabular arraies will break demo the estimations of Singapore occupants by ethnics groups and sex.

As At End of Month

All Ethnic Groups



American indians












2002 June











2003 June











2004 June











2005 June











2006 June











2007 June











2008 June











2009 June











( Thousands Persons ) ( Singapore occupant population comprises Singapore citizens and lasting occupants )

From the tabular array, Singapore entire population stands at 3,733,900 at the terminal June 2009. The largest ethnics group in Singapore is Chinese which stands at 2,470,300 in June 2009, from the tabular arraies in can be seen that females ‘ population is more than males ‘ population. In Chinese ethnicity groups, female ‘s population figures stand at 1,410,100 as June 2009, while male ‘s population for Chinese ethnicity group stands at 1,360,200. Chinese ethnicity group are the largest cultural group in Singapore.

The 2nd largest ethnicity group is Malays, in June 2009 the entire figure of Malays population in Singapore are 500,000. In Singapore, Malays group population is non every bit many as oppose with the neighbouring state like Indonesia and Malaysia, which the population of those states are Malays ethnicity group. In Malays ethnicity group in Singapore, the Numberss of female ‘s population shows same form like the Chinese population. The female ‘s population in Malays ethnicity group in Singapore bases at 250,900, while for the male ‘s population for Malays ethnicity stands at 249,100.

The 3rd largest ethnicity group in Singapore is Indians. Indians ethnicity group stands at 343,500 at the terminal of June 2009. In Indians ethnicity groups, the figure of female ‘s population shows a spot different state of affairss, for this ethnicity group the male ‘s population are more than the female ‘s population. At the terminal of June 2009, male ‘s population for the Indians ethnicity group stands at 178,100, while for the female ‘s population shows a smaller Numberss, which stands at 165,400 at the terminal of June 2009.

For the others ethnicity group, the figure of their population, there are besides rather important in Numberss, bases at around 120,000 this group of communities are the 4th largest communities after the Chinese, Malay and Indian in footings of the Numberss of population. But, once more the figure of male and female population shows the same forms like the Chinese and Malay population. At the terminal of June 2009, the female ‘s population stands at 62,700 while male ‘s population at the terminal of June 2009 stands at 57,300. This figures show how female ‘s population ever higher than the male ‘s population excepting for the Indian ethnicity group, which show different sort of form.

Singapore the whole as a state shows a steady growing in figure of population. Start from terminal of June 2002, the Singapore ‘s population figure stands at 3,382,900, but in June 2003 the figure of Singapore population fluctuated a spot from 3,382,900 into 3,366,900 the ground for the population to worsen are non known, but it is believe that it might be caused by the lessening in birth rate and the figure of peoples migrate out of Singapore to migrate to other states.

But start from June 2004, the figure of Singapore ‘s population start to construct up in footings of Numberss once more, from 2004 the figure stands at 3,413,300. It shows some growing as compared to the population Numberss in June 2003. In June 2005, the population stands on 3,467,800 and these figures shows a steady growing in population ‘s figure for Singapore. In June 2006, the population figure stands at 3,525,900, which shows a important growing to the population figure. While in June 2007, the figure is stands on 3,583,100, and follows by figures in June 2008, which stands on 3,642,700. All the figures show growing in population except diminution in 2003.

Singapore ‘s Population and Growth Rate, 1871-2030


Entire population N



Growth rate ( % )

Entire population N
















































1Includes resident population shacking overseas.

From the tabular array above, the population for Singapore since 1990 to 2000 shows an one-year growing of 1.8 % . The figures in the tabular arraies include resident and non-resident, which mean the figures besides include figures of population that resides within Singapore and population with Singapore ‘s nationality that resides outside Singapore for the twelvemonth of 1991.

The highest growing in population figure happens in the twelvemonth of 1957, the population figure rose from simply 938,144 to more than 1,445,929 with the addition every bit much as 4.4 % in 1957. While the lowest addition in population happens in 1980. In the twelvemonth of 1980, there is merely 1.5 % addition in figure of population on that twelvemonth. In 1970 the figure of population bases on 2,074,507 and merely increases 1.5 % to 2,413,945 in 1980.

In footings of growing for non-residents, these groups sing much higher growing. In 1990, the growings are stand at 9.0 % as compared to resident ‘s population growing at 1.8 % . While in 2000 the growings for non-residents are much higher, the growing stands at 9.3 % as compared with occupant ‘s population growing, which stand at 1.8 % .

Median Age for Singapore ( 1911-2030 )

Census Year

Median Age

























Singapore Census of Population 2000 and the Inter-Ministerial Committee Report on the Ageing Population ( 1999 )

From the tabular array above, it is proven that the population in Singapore start to travel towards a tendency called “ aging population ” . From the figures above, starts from 1957 there are steady additions in the Median age for Singapore ‘s population. It was forecasted that by 2030, the Singapore ‘s population would consist of 19 % of aging population ( IMC 1999 ) .

The grounds behind the possibilities of high growing to the ageing population are because of betterment in sanitation, medical engineering, and public wellness consciousness. There is besides growing to life anticipation for work forces from 76 to 79 based on surveies ( IMC 1999 ) .

The grounds behind the ageing population in Singapore are because of dramatic bead in birthrate. The dramatic bead in birthrate among the population in Singapore brought deductions to provide and demand issues, which will impact the young person in Singapore, and besides it is impacting the supply and demand issues for the aged.

Labour Market in Singapore

Labour force engagement rose, amid economic recovery

Growth in the labour force picked up in 2010, supported by stronger manpower demand amid the economic recovery. The entire labour force rose by 3.5 % over the twelvemonth in June 2010, up from the addition of 3.1 % in the old twelvemonth. Growth in the non-resident labour force increased from 3.2 % in 2009 to 4.2 % in 2010, but this was lower than the additions averaging 14 % per annum ( p.a. ) during 2004 to 2008. Against a larger base, the resident labor force grew by 3.1 % in 2010, up somewhat from 3.0 % in the preceding twelvemonth. As at June 2010, there were 3.14 million individuals in the labour force, consisting 2.05 million occupants and 1.09 million non-residents.

Table 1: Labour Force, 1999, 2004 and 2008 to 2010 ( As at June )




Change ( % p.a. )







































*Source: Singapore Labor Statistic

Labour Force Engagement

With the economic recovery, the proportion of the resident population aged 15 & A ; over who participated in the labor market rose from 65.4 % in 2009 to a new high of 66.2 % in 2010, after it dipped by 0.2 % -point in the old twelvemonth due to the recession. This balanced the stifling consequence on the growing in the resident labor force due to the slower addition in resident population in 2010.

The rise in labour force engagement rate ( LFPR ) over the twelvemonth was led by young persons aged 15 to 24, whose rate more than recovered from the diminution in 2009 when some had deferred entry to the occupation market to foster their surveies during the recession. Nevertheless, the young person LFPR was still lower than in 1999, reflecting the longer-term tendency for young persons to come in the labor force at a ulterior age as more of them prosecute higher instruction ( Chart 1A ) .

In contrast, the LFPR in all the other age groups were higher in 2010 than in 1999, chiefly driven by the rise in labour force engagement among adult females and older occupants. Three in four ( 74.4 % ) adult females in the prime-working ages of 25 to 54 participated in the labor market in 2010, up from 63.6 % in 1999. However, their LFPR was still lower than that of prime-working age work forces ( 95.8 % ) , reflecting the backdown of some adult females from the labor force after matrimony and childbearing ( Chart 1B ) .

The LFPR for older occupants aged 55 to 64 increased significantly from 45.2 % in 1999 to 61.0 % in 2010, supported by go oning three-party attempts to heighten their employability and promote them to remain longer in the work force. The betterment in educational profile of older occupants was another lending factor as the better educated were more likely to take part in the labor market than those less educated. The LFPR increased for both work forces ( from 65.2 % in 1999 to 77.7 % in 2010 ) and adult females ( from 26.3 % in 1999 to 44.7 % in 2010 ) aged 55 to 64.

Chart 1: Age-Specific Resident Labour Force Participation Rate ( As at June )

Sum, 1999, 2009 and 2010Photo Apr 18, 2 38 12 PM.png

*Source: Singapore Labor Statistic

By Sexual activity, 2010 Photo Apr 18, 2 37 37 PM.png

*Source: Singapore Labor Statistic

Profile of the Labour Force


With the addition in LFPR among older occupants and population ripening, the average age of the resident labor force rose from 38 old ages in 1999 to 41 old ages in 2010. Close to three in 10 ( 28 % ) occupants in the labour force in 2010 were aged 50 & A ; over, up from 17 % in 1999. In contrast, the proportion of economically active occupants in their 30s fell from 31 % to 26 % and those younger from 25 % to 21 % .

Chart 2: Distribution of Resident Labour Force by Age, 1999 and 2010 ( As at June ) Photo Apr 18, 2 38 12 PM.png

*Source: Singapore Labor Statistic


The educational profile of the labor force continued to better, as the better educated younger occupants enter the labor force and the comparatively less educated older cohorts retire increasingly. The portion of grade holders in the labor force about doubled from 15 % in 1999 to 28 % in 2010. They formed the largest group in the resident labor force in 2010, totaling 565,400. Conversely, the portion of economically active occupants with secondary makings declined from 29 % to 20 % and the lower educated from 36 % to 22 % over the same period.Photo Apr 18, 2 38 39 PM.png

Chart 3: Distribution of Resident Labour Force by Education, 1999 and 2010 ( As at June )

*Source: Singapore Labor Statistic

Around one in three ( 32 % ) grade holders in the resident labor force in 2010 were alumnuss in Business & A ; Administration. Other common Fieldss of survey among economically active occupant grade holders were Engineering Sciences ( 23 % ) , Humanities & A ; Social Sciences ( 11 % ) and Information Technology ( 10 % ) .

Table 2: Economically Active Resident Degree Holders by Field of Study, June 2010



Share ( % )




Business & A ; Administration



Engineering Sciences



Humanities & A ; Social Sciences



Information Technology



Natural, Physical, Chemical & A ; Mathematical Sciences



Health Sciences






Architecture & A ; Building



Mass Communication & A ; Information Science






Fine & A ; Applied Humanistic disciplines






*Source: Singapore Labor Statistic


Globalization, rapid technological progresss and the rise of China and India have changed Singapore economic environment basically. Singapore has been hit by a series of dazes, viz. , the 1997/8 Asiatic economic crises, the 2001 planetary downswing, the rise of terrorist act and the eruption of SARS in 2003. These alterations have left their grade on the employment landscape.

In the last decennary, the Singapore economic system has created over half a million occupations on a net footing, reflecting the difference between occupations added and occupations lost. By the terminal of 2003, there were some 2,135,200 individuals in employment. This was 563,900 more than at the start of 1993. The decennary is marked by two distinguishable periods. The roar old ages of 1993 to 1997, characterized by rapid economic enlargement and robust occupation creative activity, came to an disconnected terminal with the oncoming of the Asiatic crisis in 1997/98. Major structural alterations and economic dazes happening thenceforth have resulted in hard and volatile economic conditions with serious challenges to employment. The subsequent subdivisions describe the different economic conditions predominating during the two periods and how these have affected workers.

In an extension of the economic growing experienced since the mid-80s, 1993 to 1997 proverb impressive economic enlargement of 9 % to 12 % yearly. This created every bit many as 474,800 occupations over the five-year period or shut to 100,000 every twelvemonth. The labour market was tight with unemployment hovering at merely 2 % . Workers enjoyed good pay additions averaging 6 to 9 % yearly. Those were the yearss when occupations were trailing after workers. Over the five-year period, local employment rose by 183,400. With the economic system making more occupations than what locals could take on, aliens took on the staying 291,400 of the employment created. In other words, 6 out of every 10 of the new occupations created went to aliens.

From 1998 to 2003, the Singapore economic system was hit by a series of external dazes. As workers from China and India entered the planetary market, the structural alterations observed during the growing period of 1993 to 1997, accelerated in the aftermath of the currency crisis, planetary economic lag, terrorist act and SARS outbreak. Weighed down by the Asiatic fiscal crisis, the Singapore economic system suffered its first employment contraction in 1998 ( -23,400 ) since the mid-80s recession. Fabrication was the hardest hit due to its strong export orientation. Weak demand for manufactured merchandises due to decreased regional demand, eroding of Singapore cost fight ( originating from a sharper depreciation of regional currencies ) every bit good as an over-supply of certain manufactured merchandises ( e.g. electronics ) resulted in the sector losing 27,600 occupations in the twelvemonth. Construction suffered a little diminution of 4,700 occupations. Merely services managed little employment growing ( 8,600 ) . Locals saw losingss numbering 27,700 occupations in 1998, the majority of which were in fabrication ( -19,900 ) . Foreigners besides lost occupations in fabrication ( -7,700 ) and building ( -1,700 ) , but this was offset by continued additions in services ( 13,800 ) chiefly as foreign domestic amahs. However, the speedy recovery in 1999 which gained impulse in 2000 more than made up for the losingss.

The enlargement was non to last. By the start of 2001, the economic system began to soften as it grappled with the effects of a planetary slack brought approximately by the bursting of the engineering bubble in US. Economic conditions worsened in the wake of the September 11 terrorist onslaughts on the US. These took a heavy toll on the Singapore labor market, with employment worsening by 22,900 over the following two old ages ( 2001 to 2002 ) . This clip unit of ammunition, the foreign work force buffered local workers by absorbing the losingss. Foreign employment contracted by 43,700 over the biennial period, while local employment rose by 20,700. The downswing accelerated the gait of restructuring. Manufacturing employment contracted by 20,500 over 2001 to 2002, impacting both locals and aliens. In building, authorities steps to cut down trust on low-skilled foreign building workers, continued to shave foreign employment in the sector. Coupled with the slack in edifice activities, the sector shed 54,800 occupations, about all of which belonged to aliens. Restructuring besides started to impact services, as progresss in engineering and lifting competition resulted in greater chase of efficiency in many organisations. Nevertheless, compared with other sectors, employment in services as a whole was more resilient turning by 54,000 over the two old ages, of which the majority ( 44,600 ) went to locals.

In all, 1998 to 2002 proved a seeking clip for the Singapore labor market. Over the five old ages merely 102,000 occupations were created or merely one-fifth of the 474,800 occupations created during the roar old ages of 1993 to 1997. Of the occupations created, 9 in every 10 went to locals. Although continued economic restructuring proverb locals lose occupations in fabrication ( -29,800 ) , this was offset by additions in services ( 129,800 ) .

However, the additions in local occupations were non sufficient to absorb the new entrants come ining the labor market. Consequently, unemployment rose to hit 4.4 % in 2002. 2003 was another volatile twelvemonth. After a hard first half brought about by uncertainnesss due to SARS, terrorist act and the Iraq war ; employment picked up in the 2nd half of 2003, following the successful containment of SARS and resurgence in the planetary economic system. The majority of the employment additions came from the services sector, boosted by local hiring to get by with the post-SARS recovery and year-end celebrations. However, this addition was non plenty to countervail the losingss suffered earlier in the twelvemonth. As a consequence, employment ended 12,900 occupations lower in Dec 2003 from a twelvemonth ago and unemployment rose to average 4.7 % in 2003.

Foreigners continued to buffer the local work force in 2003, as they suffered a 3rd back-to-back twelvemonth of occupation losingss ( -27,900 ) . In contrast, local employment increased by 14,900, about all of which were created in services. As at Dec 2003, there were 1,535,300 locals and 599,800 aliens in employment. Reflecting the cutback in aliens in recent old ages, Singapore ‘s overall trust on aliens declined from 30 % as at Dec 1997 to 28 % in Dec 2003.

The strong economic system from 2004 to 2006 generated robust employment growing of 360,700 over the three old ages ; with Singapore citizens, lasting occupants and aliens all registering strong employment additions. 141,700 of the occupations created went to Singapore citizens, 62,500 to lasting occupants, and the staying 156,500 to aliens. Encouraged by the economic upturn, more Singapore citizens have entered the labor market and secured employment in recent old ages. In 2006, employment of Singapore citizens rose by a record high of 64,600, exceling the additions of 45,000 in 2005 and 32,000 in 2004. Similarly, there were strong growing in employment of lasting occupants and aliens, enabling the Singapore economic system to turn beyond the confines of its autochthonal labour supply. Given the bounds to growing in their autochthonal work force and the larger base of occupations created, the proportion of employment additions traveling to citizens dropped from 45 % in 2004 to 40 % in 2005 and to 37 % in 2006, even though the absolute additions in employment taken up by the citizens increased over the period.

This is typical of periods of robust and sustained economic growing, with strong employment creative activity. Traveling frontward, as their citizen work force grows more easy as a consequence of falling birthrate and ripening, the portion of employment additions traveling to Singapore citizens is likely to worsen farther, if the economic system and the labor market continue to turn strongly. Nevertheless the addition in employment for Singapore citizens in 2006 had exceeded either the local or entire employment additions in the earlier old ages, and is therefore a record high in absolute footings. There were 2,495,900 individuals employed in Singapore in December 2006. Out of every 10 individuals working, six were Singapore citizens ( 60 % or 1,498,500 ) , one was lasting occupant ( 241,100 or 9.7 % ) and the staying three were aliens ( 30 % or 756,300 ) . With greater influx of aliens taking up lasting abode in Singapore, reflecting the success in pulling international endowment to back up economic growing, the figure of lasting occupants working here rose by 8.4 % a twelvemonth from December 1997 to December 2006. This was significantly higher than the annualized growing of 1.5 % for Singapore citizens and 2.3 % for aliens over the same period. This resulted in a rise in the employment portion of lasting occupants from 5.7 % in December 1997 to 9.7 % in December 2006. On the other manus, the portion of citizens fell from 64 % to 60 % ; although they still formed the bulk of the work force in Singapore. The portion of aliens was loosely unchanged at 30 % .


Encouraged by the recent betterment in occupation chances, more people have been come ining the labor market increasing the work force supply. The addition in resident labor supply averaged 33,900 a twelvemonth over the period 1993 to 2005. Although the one-year addition had been rather stable during the period of high GDP growing from 1993 to 1996, this has non been the instance during the volatile economic conditions of recent old ages. The one-year addition in resident labour supply was well below norm during the economic lag in 1998 ( 20,300 ) and 2001 to 2003 ( 12,000 to 27,000 ) . However, the expected labor influxs that “ did non happen ” during these periods returned when the economic system picked up, as evident in 2000 when labour supply increased by every bit much as 67,400 and in 2004 and 2005 which saw higher-than-average additions of 38,700 and 55,900 severally. This is because in periods of strong growing, some of the economically inactive, e.g. demoralized workers, immature retired persons, homemakers and pupils would come in or rejoin the labor market when occupations are easier to happen.

Conversely, during an economic downswing those who find it difficult to happen occupations and/or can afford to make so would go out the occupation market while some may even go forth Singapore for abroad occupations. Consequently, Singapore cyberspace influx to the labour supply would be reduced during these periods. These alterations in labour supply explicate why in periods when employment creative activity is strong as in the recent one and a half old ages, unemployment has yet to fall significantly. In June 2005, the overall seasonally adjusted unemployment was 3.4 % , which is merely somewhat lower than 3.6 % of a twelvemonth ago. In short, other than alterations in demand, unemployment can besides be affected by alterations in influxs to the labour force. Hence, despite an addition in occupations created, unemployment may non demo a diminution due to larger-than-usual influxs to the labour force.


The influx of foreign workers into the economic system has proved to be a buffer for the local work force. During the growing period of 1993 to 1997, aliens helped run into the deficit of workers, enabling the economic system to turn beyond the confines of Singapore ‘s autochthonal resources. In the hard old ages of 1998 to 2003, aliens bore the brunt of the losingss suffered.

The economic system has eventually turned the corner. The first three months of 2004 proverb GDP spread outing by a robust 7.5 % from a twelvemonth ago, go oning the strong growing impulse of the old one-fourth. With the economic system expected to retrieve strongly in the twelvemonth, more occupations will be created. Nevertheless, structural challenges remain. Competition from lower-cost economic systems like China and India will go on to present challenges to the creative activity of occupations in Singapore. With faster and cheaper communicating links, force per unit area to turn up occupations to where it offers the best value for money will prevail as more houses seek productiveness additions amidst a extremely competitory planetary economic system. Hence, occupation creative activity is improbable to return to the robust gait of the pre-crisis old ages.

The new occupations created will besides be different from those lost. As Singapore economic system restructures up the value concatenation, the occupations created will necessitate more specialised accomplishments and cognition, particularly in the services-oriented economic system. Workers must go on to pick up new accomplishments and adapt to demands of the new occupations created. Amidst a extremely competitory planetary environment, concern rhythms will go on to be volatile. Hence, it is critical for rewards and the work force in general to be competitory and flexible, to enable Singapore to react to altering market conditions.

Boosted by the strong economic recovery, the proportion of the resident population in employment rebounded to a new high in 2010. The addition in employment rate was broad-based across both premier and older age groups, particularly among adult females. The economic recovery besides lifted workers ‘ incomes, with faster and stronger additions than in the old recovery.