20.6 percent of Singapore workforce will have their jobs displaced by 2028, highest in SEA

One-fifth, or 20.6 percent, of Singapore's workforce will have their jobs displaced by 2028, due to technological disruptions. 

The island state's job displacement rate is significantly higher than that of Vietnam (13.8 percent), Thailand (11.9 percent), the Philippines (10.1 percent), Indonesia (8.1 percent) and Malaysia (7.4 percent).

What Singapore will face, is the highest degree of job displacement regionally in the next decade, based on a new study by technology company Cisco and global forecasting firm Oxford Economics.

The research analyses the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on workers in six South-east Asian economies. 

Photo: Connected to India
Photo: Connected to India

According to the findings, Singapore will also face the greatest job-skills mismatch, with a gap in average skill levels of 14.3 (on a scale of 100). This is higher than the Philippines (13.9), Vietnam (13.4), Malaysia (12.7), Thailand (8.5) and Indonesia (8.4).

A reason is Singapore’s digital transformation taking place at a faster rate than other ASEAN countries.

The country also carries a more supportive environment for investments in robotics and the Internet of Things. This contributes to a much greater displacement of production workers and labourers, as compared to the other five countries.

“The majority of new job opportunities in Singapore are likely to be created in highly skilled managerial and professional roles, reflecting the growth areas of the economy. Thus, a considerable uplift is required in the overall skills composition of (the) workforce,” the study added.

Moreover, Singapore is “already close to the frontier of technological progress”. It has an exceptional enabling environment for innovation and digital transformation, in addition to a small geographical area, and modern and upgradeable infrastructure. This would enable businesses to take advantage of innovations as they become available. 

A multidisciplinary team of experts from across the region were involved in the study. They provided insights into the role that technology will play in various sectors and occupations. They study tapped into data on 433 occupations across 21 industries, to model the impact of these technological-adoption patterns on the 275 million full-time equivalent workers across the six countries by 2028.