SINGAPORE — Minister for Communications and Information Minister Josephine Teo has said that technology will continue to undergird the growth of Singapore’s economy and create job opportunities despite the ongoing massive tech job cuts around the world.
Speaking at the launch of Step IT Up, a tech talent conversion programme on Thursday (26 Jan), Mrs Teo also said that Singapore will continue to invest in Singaporeans by reskilling and upskilling them for career opportunities in tech, citing opportunities in the development of the green economy.
Mrs Teo was allaying fears that tech opportunities may be dwindling following announcements last week that Microsoft and Amazon had started cutting a total of 28,000 jobs across the globe, citing slowing sales and a possible recession.
And true enough, the increase in resident employment growth in the last year has largely been attributed to Financial Services, Professional Services, and Information & Communications.
Total employment growth in 3Q 2022 was reported at 75,900, with a breakdown of 71,100 jobs (93.7 per cent) for non-residents and 4,800 jobs (6.3 per cent) for residents.
But why is it that only the employment growth for the 3rd Quarter report has a breakdown into foreign workers and local workers, but there was no breakdown for the 1st and 2nd Quarters?
There is, however, a clue in the report for 3Q 2022 that can tell us what the breakdown for the previous two quarters was.
The report states, “With the latest increases, resident employment was 4.4% above its pre-pandemic level, while non-resident employment was still 3.9% below its pre-pandemic level”.
If we were to refer to the pre-pandemic workforce statistics in 2019, we note that there were 2,355,300 locals (both Singaporeans and Permanent Residents) and (62.3%) and 1,422,700 foreigners excluding migrant domestic workers (MDW) (37.7 per cent) with a total working population of 3,778,000.
So using the figures in the 3Q 2022 report, we get the local workforce of 2,355,300 (2019), increased by 4.4 per cent, which gives us a figure of 2,458,933 for the three quarters of 2022.
Similarly, for the non-resident workforce, a decrease of 3.9 per cent from 1,422,700 in 2019 gives us a figure of 1,367,215.
Given that there are 2,443,100 local workers and 1,200,400 non-resident workers as of December 2021, we can derive the increase in workers in 2022 (3Qs) from the previous year as 15,833 for local workers and 166,815 for non-resident workers. The total job growth in 3Q of 2022 is 182,648 (15,833 + 166,815).
Therefore, local jobs growth in the first three quarters of 2022 was 8.7 per cent versus the foreign jobs growth of 91.3 per cent.
Since locals consist of Singaporeans & PRs, the percentage of the Jobs Growth that went to Singaporeans may even be less than 8.7 per cent.