SINGAPORE'S labour market will tighten further and the local workforce growth will slow significantly in the second half of this decade, Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin told Parliament on Monday.
Speaking during the debate over the Manpower Ministry's budget, Mr Tan said that the government will continue to keep foreign workforce growth at the current tight pace.
He stressed that businesses need to adapt to the new reality of a tight labour market, and make fundamental changes to raise productivity.
Since 2010, the city-state has tightened foreign labour, moderating the foreign workforce growth from about 80,000 in 2011, to about a third of that, 26,000 in 2014. The figures exclude foreign domestic workers.
The local employment growth was 95,000 in 2014, more than twice the 38,000 in 2011.
"Unfortunately, this increase in local hiring will not last. In fact, we expect our local employment growth to slow dramatically in the next few years, dropping from a base of 95,000 last year to around 20,000 per annum in the last part of this decade," Mr Tan said.
He added that this is due to baby boomers gradually exiting the workforce, and smaller cohorts entering.