SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan—Jin has pointed to some "sobering realities" to the labour market in his latest blog post.
Mr Tan said the overall labour market may become even tighter next year.
Thus, there will be more pressure on businesses to expand through product innovation and creating a more productive workforce.
Mr Tan said Singapore’s strong growth in employment may at first glance sound good, but the country’s productivity growth has been decreasing.
He explained that the rate of growth in employment level has exceeded the rate of GDP growth.
This means that with every additional worker employed, the economy became less productive on average.
It is only by improving productivity and moving up the value chain, he said, that will ensure a better skilled workforce and in turn wage increases.
Mr Tan said the government will continue to support the efforts of businesses.
For workers, there will be a review of Workfare, to ensure the initiative provides adequate encouragement for workers to upgrade and earn more.
He said: "At the same time, we want to focus our attention on Singaporeans who most require our help — the bottom 20 per cent of Singaporean workers, who are usually older as well. To do so, we will be reviewing the eligibility criteria for the two schemes. We will announce the Workfare review outcome in early 2013."
The Employment Act is also being reviewed to enhance basic employment standards for workers, while giving employers sufficient flexibility to manage their manpower resources.
"We are still seeking feedback from the public and we look forward to announcing the first phase of the recommendations in the first quarter of 2013," said Mr Tan.
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