01 Apr '15, 9pm

Singapore's Growing Success Sparks a Backlash

Singapore's Growing Success Sparks a Backlash

So, this being Singapore, the government is in the middle of a formal, ten-year program to restructure the economy. The limit on foreign workers, which ratchets up year by year and affects all sectors, is a key component. The goals include across-the-board productivity gains, more high-skilled jobs, and wage hikes for low-skilled workers. Productivity is 13% higher since 2010, but it fell last year in most sectors, including construction, retail and restaurants. Even if wages rise, most Singaporeans still wouldn’t build high-rises, wait on tables or clean rooms. And robots can’t do it–at least not yet. Meanwhile, the country struggles with a public backlash against the huge jump in the foreign population. In 1990, when 3 million people lived on the island, foreigners made up just more than 10% of the total and 16% of the workforce. By last year nearly 30% of 5.5 million pe...

Full article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesasia/2015/04/01/singapo...

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