International Business & Economy FT workforce hits all time high at 1.4M while more SGs out...

FT workforce hits all time high at 1.4M while more SGs out of job




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By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

In the latest foreign workforce report published by the Manpower Ministry last Thursday (15 Sep), it revealed that the total foreign workforce has hit an all time high with a figure of 1,404,700, as at Jun this year:
1 2Note that the figure for 2016 is only for half a year. This number is 17,400 more than the figure in Dec 2015. Assuming the growth of foreign workforce continues the same as in the first 6 months, we would expect some 34,800 more foreign workers to be added in Singapore this year, more than the 31,500 figure last year.

MOM reported that as at Jun last year, Singapore has a total workforce of 3,610,600 of which 2,232,300 are locals (Singaporeans and PRs). This means the locals only constitute 62% of the total workforce while foreigners constitute 38%.

As for foreign PMETs (EP ans S Pass holders), the number as at Jun this year is also at an all time high – 369,000. Although the foreign PMET growth has slowed due to complaints from Singaporean PMETs, this number is still higher than last year’s figure of 366,500. By the end of the year, the number of foreign PMETs is expected to exceed 370,000.

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Many Singaporeans are questioning the quality of foreign PMETs imported into Singapore and feel that these poor quality foreign PMETs shouldn’t be given a work pass by MOM to work here in the first place.

A good example is Indian national Nisha Padmanabhan who obtained her master’s degree from a degree mill. She was recruited by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). When public anger was mounting, IDA came out to defend their decision in employing her. IDA said that the Indian national did not deceive the agency by listing her MBA from the phony university. It argued that her employment was not based on her MBA but on her bachelor’s degree. Also, it considered her skills “relevant” to IDA’s work.

Ms Padmanabhan’s basic degree is from the University of Mumbai in India, a university whose ranking is more than 700+ in the world. In her latest Linkedin profile, she disclosed that she had in fact, left IDA in November last year for US (

Citizen unemployment rate goes up

Meanwhile, more Singaporeans are out of job.

In its latest report, MOM also revealed that citizen unemployment shot up from 2.6% in Mar to 3.1% in Jun this year. This contrasts with the overall unemployment rate in Singapore, rising from 1.9% in Mar to 2.1% in Jun (

The number of retrenched workers in the first half of 2016 currently stands at 9,510. This is at its highest since 2009.

The number of job vacancies fell from 50,000 in Mar to 49,400 in Jun. With more unemployed people, there are now 93 job openings per 100 job seekers, MOM said.

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