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Labour demand in Singapore to remain high in 2015: Manpower Ministry

Friday, March 13, 2015 - 11:07
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The labour market in Singapore is expected to remain tight in 2015, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday as it gave its outlook for the year

THE labour market in Singapore is expected to remain tight in 2015, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday as it gave its outlook for the year.

The demand for labour will continue to be high, with the services sector expected to be a major contributor to employment growth.

The tight labour supply means there will likely be upward pressure on wages in labour-intensive sectors such as construction, retail, and food services.

"Wage increases cannot be sustained in the long run without productivity improvements. Continued efforts to improve labour productivity should remain a primary focus across all sectors," MOM added.

The ministry noted how, during the last two years of economic restructuring, employers here have been able to meet their manpower needs by hiring more locals.

Local employment grew by 82,900 in 2013 and 96,000 in 2014, amid foreign employment growth (excluding foreign domestic workers) slowing from 48,400 in 2013 to 26,000 in 2014.

The unemployment rate remained low last year, said MOM. For the whole of 2014, the annual average unemployment rate for citizens was 2.9 per cent, unchanged from 2013.

The ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons increased to 1.39 in 2014 from 1.29 in 2013, reflecting the "continued availability of jobs" for those seeking employment, said MOM.

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