HR TOP HITS TRENDS FOREIGN WORKERS SALARY CPI
Singapore – Singapore is in need of up to 25,000 immigrants each year, yet the country is losing its appeal to workers from neighboring countries.Latest findings by the National Population and Talent Division revealed the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) of 1.2 is almost half of the required replacement rate of 2.1.
At the same time, the number of elderly citizens is expected to triple to 90,000 by 2030, representing about 30% of the population.
Without immigration, the report warned citizen deaths will exceed births in 13 years, causing the country’s population to age and shrink. With median age rising from the current 39 years to 45 by 2025, the local workforce will start to shrink with fewer working-age citizens supporting elderly citizens.
However, blue-collar foreign workers may no longer find Singapore attractive, Moh Chong Tau, deputy president of the Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation, said. The country’s low wages, high cost of living and better job prospects in neighbouring countries may be putting people off.
Malaysia’s booming economy, for example, has led to a significant reduction in immigrant workers over the years, while Thai workers are going to Taiwan and other countries. Even workers from India and China are decreasing.
K Jayprema, president of the Association of Employment Agencies, said employers find it difficult to hire blue-collar foreigners because they refuse to pay higher wages. Workers are also becoming choosier.
In an effort to attract more candidates, SBS Transit announced this week it will be increasing salary for bus drivers from next month
. The move will affect 5,300 employees as the government seeks to improve services by helping operators expand their fleets.
New Singaporean bus drivers can now expect a basic salary of S$1,600, compared to the current S$1,375, while existing bus drivers will get to take home an additional S$225 each month. Non-Singaporean drivers will also receive an increase of between S$75 and S$150.
But on a macroeconomic level, the recent wage increases across industries in Singapore has contributed the country’s high inflation rate. Last month, the Department of Statistics reported an unexpected high inflation of 5.2%
and a spike in education and healthcare costs, attributed to rising wages.
Coupled with price increases in vehicle and housing rentals, economists believe the figures indicate further price rises to come. This follows increases of 4.8% and 4.6% in January in February, respectively.
In a joint statement, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Trade and Industry Ministry said inflation could average about 5% year-on-year in the first half if this year before “easing gradually” in the second half.
Moving on to bizarre news, an American clerical worker at Automotive Group is currently pursuing a legal complaint after she was allegedly fired after donating her kidney to help save her boss's life
Debbie Stevens from Long Island, New York, had offered her organ to Jackie Brucia, her former boss at the automobile dealer, after learning about her struggle to find a donor. In return, Stevens claimed Brucia pressured her to return to work soon after the procedure, even though she didn’t feel well enough.
"I decided to become a kidney donor to my boss, and she took my heart," Stevens said. "I feel very betrayed. This has been a very hurtful and horrible experience for me. She just took this gift and put it on the ground and kicked it.”
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