The world is drastically changing day by day due to the ongoing global pandemic. And for the first time in 17 years, Singapore’s total population has taken a dive as the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has seen lesser and lesser foreigners coming in to work in the city-state.
Singapore Is Tightening Its Foreign Employment Framework
More specifically, the tiny island nation in Southeast Asia has seen its total population drop by 0.3% in recent times, as compared to last year’s 5.69 million in June. This scenario is largely attributed to the reduction in foreign employment in the services sector.
Such a drastic drop had not been seen since the year 2003 — whereupon the total population (citizens, permanent residents, foreign workers, and students) fell to 4.11 million from 4.18 million in 2002.
A more detailed breakdown is as follows:
The non-resident population was at 1.64 million as of June 2020, which saw a decrease of 2.1% from last year, as well as being the lowest population of this group since 2015. Along with that, work permit holders saw the largest decrease of the group.
The trend is seen as a direct consequence due to Covid-19 and the fallout due to weak demand and travel restrictions.
The situation is also further exacerbated by the fact that foreign workers have become a key topic in the upcoming elections this year as several opposition candidates have campaigned that employment opportunities are being taken from the locals. To that end, the government has also recently become more proactive in promoting the hiring of Singaporeans, as well as tightening its criterion for issuing employment passes for foreign workers.
All in all, this situation has led to a massive migration of foreign workers from the country in recent times.