Local employment boosted by curbs

Local employment boosted by curbs

SINGAPORE - The latest employment data shows government efforts to moderate foreign-worker inflows have yielded some rewards.

The number of Singaporeans and permanent residents employed rose by 59,200 last year, substantially higher than the 37,900 increase in 2011.

This finding was released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) yesterday.

Ms Christina Ng, associate director for financial services and legal at human-resource consultancy Robert Walters, explains that the rise in local employment could be due to an "emphasis by the Singapore Government to use local talent" and that "the cost of expatriate and overseas labour is also rising", making local talents more "value for money".

In a blog post yesterday, Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said that the rise in employment among residents could be attributed in part to tightening of foreign-worker controls and the Special Employment Credit (SEC), which encourages hiring of older workers.

Other factors are the re-employment legislation which kicked in last year, and tripartite efforts to encourage flexi-work arrangements, said Mr Tan.

The SEC, enhanced last year, provides payouts to employers based on the wages of every employee over the age of 55 that they hire, while the Retirement and Re-employment Act requires employers to offer re-employment to eligible employees who turn 62, up to the age of 65.

Sixty-four per cent of residents aged between 55 and 64 were employed last year, up from 61.2 per cent in 2011.

MOM also said that amid the tightening of foreign-manpower controls, growth in foreign employment eased to 70,400 last year, from 84,800 in 2011.

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