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Tan See Leng evades specific employment figures for Singaporeans as 94.5% of 2023’s employment growth goes to foreigners

Being questioned in Parliament, Singapore’s Manpower Minister Tan See Leng avoids revealing employment figures for Singaporeans in 2023, emphasizing the importance of balancing local and foreign talent for economic growth.



In a recent session of Parliament, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng was pressed by opposition members for specific figures regarding the employment of Singaporean citizens in 2023, a question he notably did not answer directly.

Instead, Dr Tan emphasized a broader perspective on workforce development, responding to Gerald Giam of the Workers’ Party with a vision that moves beyond a simplistic local-versus-foreign employment scenario.

“Singapore must not view residents and foreigners as a ‘zero-sum game’ and continue to draw divides,” Dr Tan articulated, underlining the necessity of foreign talent for enhancing job opportunities and wages for locals.

This statement was in direct response to concerns raised by Mr Giam about ensuring that the majority of new jobs in 2024 are secured by citizens and residents, especially given the previous year’s trend where non-residents accounted for the bulk of employment growth.

The job statistics report released by the Ministry of Manpower last month shows that 94.5% of 2023’s employment growth, comprising 88,400 positions in Singapore (excluding migrant domestic workers), came from non-resident workers. The remaining 4,900 resident employment growth account for Singaporean Citizens and non-Singaporean Permanent Residents.

Addressing the Member of Parliament for Aljunied’s apprehensions, Dr Tan countered, “seems to be under the misconception that a net increase in foreign employment means that jobs are not going to Singaporeans,” labeling this view as “fundamentally misguided”.

He elaborated, “Thriving businesses with access to complementary foreign talent will not only lead to more job creation but also improve overall wage outcomes as businesses expand and improve their productivity.”

In his response to Mr Giam’s questions, Dr Tan also revealed that about 18,700, or 22.4%, were from higher-skilled Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass holders.

He added that the remaining increase of 64,800, accounting for more than 77%, was due to an increase in the number of holders of work permits and other work passes in sectors such as construction, which he states are not typically the type of jobs that Singaporeans want to do.

Dr Tan further defended the government’s stance by highlighting the growth in resident professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs) by 380,000 between 2013 and 2023, in contrast to a smaller increase of 50,000 Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass holders.

This, he argued, demonstrates the commitment to balancing the need for foreign skills with the development of local talent.

Moreover, Dr Tan pointed out that resident incomes have risen in real terms by 21.6 per cent over the last decade, reflecting positively on the country’s employment strategy.

He noted, “The fundamental objective of Singapore’s approach is to strike a balance between ensuring that businesses have access to the skills and manpower needed to grow and succeed, while creating opportunities for our local workers to grow and progress.”

Dr Tan argues that thriving businesses with access to complementary foreign talent will not only lead to more job creation but also improve overall outcomes as businesses expand and enhance their productivity. “By growing our economic pie, we will be better able to secure positive outcomes for Singapore and Singaporeans.”

In a follow-up supplementary question, Mr Giam asked for the figures, which the Manpower Minister did not answer: “What is the percentage of the 4,900 that goes to Singaporeans?”

He went on to state, “Given the substantial government expenditure used for job creation in Singapore and EDB’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment, the extensive tax incentives given to MNCs, most of these jobs continue to be filled year after year, mostly by foreigners.”

Mr Giam asked, “Is the minister concerned that these government expenditures appear to be disproportionately benefiting MNCs and foreign workers, in particular, foreign professionals, over Singaporean workers?”

Reiterating his points and avoiding Mr Giam’s direct question on the figures for Singaporean workers, Dr Tan stated that as the economy grows, access to a workforce is essential.

“They need access to workers. They need access to foreign talent. They need access to local talent. Now, in a situation where our labor market is so tight, how do we ensure that our startups, our SMEs, our large local enterprises, and the MNCs who make significant FDIs in Singapore continue to grow and tap into and leverage the ecosystem, especially when we are already at close to full employment?”

Dr Tan then posed a rhetorical question, “Is the member, therefore, suggesting that because we are at full employment, we should put a damper on our businesses’ ability to grow? I think that is very shortsighted.”

He concluded with a point that didn’t directly answer Mr Giam’s question, “This is our opportunity to work together to ensure that we continue to create and sustain a thriving metropolis for our successive generations.”


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Nonsense, what Singapore must not view residents and foreigners as a ‘zero-sum game’ and continue to draw divides? When jobs goes to foreigners, that good job is gone from locals, we are losing good jobs in exchange for shit jobs this way. Pap should get pofma for talking shit about needing them to enhance job opportunities and wages for locals.

We don’t need a government that need foreigners to give us good jobs. If the government cannot do that itself, move on.

In 1st world countries his head would have rolled.
Lucky him, here not 1st world.

I honestly thought TSL could be the one who can turn MOM/labor/employability issues around – he talk tough, tries (or wayang?) implement this and that. But I also always say DATA doesn’t lie.

By the data, it looks like Tan is no different from his predecessors – JT, LSS, TCJ (very short term), Botak pineapple (another short termer), GKY, Ah Hen – all Kayu like their Kayu Boss.

Dear Cotton and Pineapple Lovers,

CNA just announced to day 3 April 2024, that these jobs Singaporeans do not want.

Really? What do you think?

This conniving lot must be breathing a sigh of mighty relief, having successfully avoided responding to the red hot potato question, … regarding employment figures pertaining to locals and pr’s cum foreign talent, … a~gain !!!

And are the voting populace taking note of this, and are they even remotely bothered or concerned by this ?!!!

Of course not, … ignorance is bliss and their continued loyalty is assured and blind !!!

BTW, the 5.5% local jobs created (about 4,900 jobs) includes those on full-time training courses (and getting an allowance) without an actual job, those that are under-employed relative to their previous jobs and/or qualifications, those in the gig industry like food delivery riders, those involved in money laundering “work”, etc. Of course TSL cannot provide the specific breakdown of jobs created.

TSL: “Thriving businesses with access to complementary foreign talent will not only lead to more job creation but also improve overall wage outcomes as businesses expand and improve their productivity….” ————— So, TSL is saying 94.5% of foreign jobs creation leads to (very happily, and we should be grateful here) 5.5% of local jobs creation. How stupid can this guy sound, seriously??? This again shows that the bar set by our million$ monkeys for themselves is very, very low, hor. And really shows how short-changed Singaporeans had become under the Kayu Son. For a million$-paid MOM minister and supposedly best-in-world… Read more »

This PAP Administration is SCREWING Singaporeans INSIDE OUT, BIG BIG Time. They ARE ASKING SGpns DO NOT DEPEND on PAP for jobs. Foreign TRASH IS NEEDED so that SG can GET PAP Handouts. Jobs ARE the very basic of life for EACH and EVERYONE Singaporean. Why is it CALLED a RICE Bowl – all in the World it’s A Rice Bowl, Iron or NOT. If this PAP TREAT JOBS for Foreign Trash NOT as ZERO SUM Game and GET Singapreans TO BE accommodating then WHAT THE FCCK is a Citizenship Tag For. What then ARE the RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES as… Read more »

83,500 out of 88,400 jobs went to foreigners in 2023, equated to 94.5% jobs for various FTs… as S’pore residents near ‘full employment….as stated by TSL. Well full employment it is, as locals who are unable to find permanent job are out of the data, so the data pool shrink and only will reflect those who managed to secure some kind of job within the 6 months. With such a small data pool which TSL counts as data for locals, it does look like ‘full employment for Sinkie’!…TSL must be thinking the way he twist and turn figures with various… Read more »

When opposition criticise, must POFMA.
When PAP find excuses + lies, sgreans we must accept it?!
VTO is the only choice!

No wonder Dr Tan was coaxed out of retirement to join politics.
And made a minister straight away!

What a typical cunning PAP reply.
No data or statistics, just a disdainful, opinionated lecture!

They will not publish any figures … That is the transparency in PAP … Opaque and never Transparent …

Tan singularity overlords … The rest of the tans will bow to him … No?!?

94.5%!….94.5!… the charts man!….
You locals ….see liao….even at 74.5%…..already is ridiculous!

I question the idea of “full employment” when there are so many unemployed and women who are housewives not able find jobs.

The Great Betrayal of Singaporeans by Millionaire Bastards

Smokescreen Tan playing hide and seek as usual.