As at December 2022, 415 thousand foreigners were employed in the construction and marine shipyard and process industry. Singapore's construction sector relies heavily on migrant labor, the majority of whom come from neighboring Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar. Many experienced several challenges in Singapore, including harsh working and living conditions, discrimination, as well as health risks.
Foreigners working in construction in Singapore outnumber residents by a large margin. The majority of them engage in physically demanding and dangerous labor. While construction sites have gotten safer in the past few years, there were still cases of fatal accidents in construction work. This is hardly surprising given the long hours worked, coupled with the physical intensity of the job.
Singapore and the migrant worker community
Such jobs have long been hard to fill with just the local labor force. Furthermore, increased economic growth has led to an increase in average wages for the resident population. To keep labor costs low, the construction sector employs cheaper labor from other Asian countries. However, this has led to certain prejudices forming and friction between the residents as well as the migrant worker communities. Migrant workers in construction, shipyard and processes are usually housed in crowded dormitories away from local residential areas. This further underlines the segregation between the local residents and the migrant workers.