Local employment in Singapore grew by an estimated 21,300 (or 0.9 percent) in 2017, nearly double the growth in 2016 (11,200 or 0.5 percent).
The increase occurred in most services sectors, transportation & storage and administrative & support services, according to Ministry of Manpower (MOM)'s labour market report released last Friday, Jan 26.
On the other hand, the foreign employment declined mainly due to the decrease in Work Permit Holders in construction and marine.
This brought the total number of employed persons – excluding foreign domestic workers – in Singapore to 3,422,700 in December 2017. Of this figure, 2,301,400 were locals and 1,121,300 foreigners.
Of every three persons in employment (excluding foreign domestic workers), two were locals (67.2 percent) and one was a foreigner (32.8 percent).
Economists say the trend should not be read as a sign that companies in Singapore have weaned off their reliance on foreign workers, Straits Times said in a report.
Industries such as healthcare and construction are still heavily reliant on foreign labour. Moreover, certain vocations in the IT and cybersecurities are experiencing a talent shortage which won't be filled up by locals soon due to qualification constraints.