Try our corporate solution for free!

Employment in Singapore - statistics & facts

Singapore’s economy is largely services-based, and the majority of its residents are employed in this sector. The last decade has seen relatively consistent economic growth, contributing to a robust job market and high labor force employment rates. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, led to Singapore’s worst recession in 2020 and 2021 and had an adverse impact on employment. Nevertheless, figures for 2022 suggest that the job market is recovering as Singapore enters the post-COVID-19 economy.

Singapore’s most precious resource is its human capital

One of the key national narratives in Singapore is the importance of its human capital to make up for its lack of natural resources. With a resident population of just under six million, it has a relatively small pool of labor. To meet the demands of its economy, Singapore relies on both building up a highly skilled local workforce, as well as attracting the necessary workers needed from abroad. The foreign workforce helps to not only to fill the gaps in skilled employment, but also provide a supply of low-cost manpower for labor-intensive sectors such as construction, gastronomy and hospitality, and healthcare services. For these sectors especially, employing foreign labor would be more competitive and cost-effective than hiring locals.

Singapore’s reliance on foreign labor has led to some resentment among the local population, with some fearing that locals are losing out on jobs. The employment market in Singapore is competitive, with fewer job vacancies than unemployed persons. However, the unemployment rate in Singapore has remained low in the last decade. Coupled with the tangible economic prosperity and standards of living, such sentiments have not had a detrimental impact on the employment landscape.

Recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to volatility in employment, with the retail, F&B, and tourism sectors especially affected. Furthermore, the strict lockdowns and uncertainty over the job market have led to significant job losses for the non-resident population, affecting all sectors and skill levels. Travel restrictions introduced by countries to control the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the departing workers could not be replaced, leading to a sharp decrease in workers employed in foreign-labor intensive industries such as construction.

However, as Singapore’s economy gradually recovered from the pandemic-led recession, its labor market started to show signs of growth and recovery. The number of workers retrenched fell from a ten-year high of 26 thousand in 2020 to eight thousand in 2021. Job vacancies also increased in 2021 to 4.7 percent, compared to 2.3 percent in 2020, with the highest number of job vacancies being community, social and personal services, followed by manufacturing and construction.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Employment in Singapore".


Get in touch with us. We are happy to help.
Statista Locations
Contact Vayola Jocelyn
Vayola Jocelyn
Client Support Specialist– Contact (United States)

Mon - Fri, 9am - 6pm (EST)

Contact Ziyan Zhang
Ziyan Zhang
Customer Relations– Contact (Asia)

Mon - Fri, 11:30am - 10pm (IST)

Contact Kisara Mizuno
Kisara Mizuno
Customer Success Manager– Contact (Asia)

Mon - Fri, 10:00am - 6:00pm (JST)

Contact Lodovica Biagi
Lodovica Biagi
Director of Operations– Contact (Europe)

Mon - Fri, 9:30am - 5pm (GMT)

Contact Carolina Dulin
Carolina Dulin
Associate Director - LAC– Contact (Latin America)

Mon - Fri, 9am - 6pm (EST)