STRICTER hiring policies are starting to put the brakes on the inflow of foreign workers, new figures showed yesterday. The numbers have gone up, but not by as much as before.
Last year, the pool of foreigners swelled by 32,200 - excluding construction and domestic workers, who do not generally compete for jobs with Singaporeans.
But this jump was only about half as large as in 2011, when 60,200 more workers from overseas found employment.
Meanwhile, employment figures for Singaporeans and permanent residents are picking up pace.
The number of local people with jobs grew by 58,700 last year - up from 37,900 in 2011.
Economists said the Manpower Ministry figures show firms are beginning to set their sights on hiring Singaporeans due to the tighter restrictions on the inflow of foreign workers.
But they added that these policies will add to the pressure on firms' bottom lines because locals demand higher salaries than foreigners.
OCBC economist Selena Ling said wages are likely to keep going up as firms vie to attract Singaporean workers in the tight labour market.