What is the change? Singapore has released a report on labor market trends in 2015.

What does the change mean? The economy is softening and showing slower growth in local and foreign employment. Total employment grew by less than 1 percent, but unemployment remained low, averaging 1.9 percent.

Key statistics:

  • Local employment was flat for all of 2015, following two previous years of high growth.
  • Foreign employment grew by only 2.3 percent, continuing its steady decline over the past several years.
  • By the end of 2015, locals made up two-thirds of the employed workforce and foreigners made up the remainder. The number of foreign workers (excluding foreign domestic workers) totaled 1.16 million.
  • Unemployment remained largely unchanged since 2011, even though layoffs increased across all sectors. The majority of layoffs occurred in the services sector, followed by manufacturing and construction.

BAL Analysis: The report is consistent with government policies that have encouraged employers to localize their workforces and restructure toward a manpower-lean economy.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact

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