|Singapore foreigner population halved
Singapore's population recorded its slowest pace of growth in nine years in the 12 months to June owing to “tightened foreign manpower policies,’’ government statistics show.
The National Population and Talent Division said the total population grew by 1.6 percent to 5.40 million, the slowest rate since 2004 when it grew by 1.3 percent.
“There was slower growth in foreign employment due to tightened foreign manpower policies and weaker economic conditions,'' the NPTD said.
Nearly 29 percent are “non-residents'' – those working, studying or living in Singapore but not granted permanent residency, AFP reports.
Growth in the number of foreign employees excluding domestic and construction industry workers halved to 3.5 percent – or 25,000 workers – in the year to June compared to 7.1 percent in the previous year.
There was however a surge of 35,000 new workers in the construction sector compared with 29,000 in the previous year.
The slowdown in population growth comes amid new measures by the government to further tighten foreign worker inflows. Singaporeans accuse foreigners of competing with them for jobs, housing, schools and space on public transport.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Manpower announced new rules on the hiring of skilled foreign workers, saying that from August 2014 companies will have to show proof they first tried to recruit local citizens.
The data show the citizen population grew by 0.9 percent to 3.31 million, with 11.7 percent aged above 65.
The resident total fertility rate – defined as the average number of live births per woman during her reproductive years – was at 1.29 in 2012, up from 1.20 in 2011.