• 4.2




Key drivers

Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupations (6.7)

Weak wage growth among workers in managerial roles has narrowed the occupational wage skills gap.

Labour Market Participation (5.3)

Having declined last year, the participation rate is forecast to grow strongly this year. This will increase the supply of skilled workers for firms looking to recruit.

Education Flexibility (0.7)

Singapore has the highest educational standards of the 34 markets featured in the report, indicating that education institutes are producing the skills necessary for the world of work.


Education Flexibility


Labour Market Participation


Labour Market Flexibility


Talent Mismatch


Overall Wage Pressure


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Industries


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupation


View from the Ground

Singapore’s dependence on global trade continues to be a major concern for the Government, and recent initiatives have been aimed at alleviating this dependence through digitalising the economy and reskilling the workforce. Programmes such as ‘Scale-Up SG’ and ‘Innovation Agents’ are aimed at attracting tech start-ups, whilst the continued provision of Government-funded credits through ‘SkillsFuture’ (which Singaporeans can use to upskill themselves), signifies the push to ensure the local workforce have the necessary skills to remain productive. As market participation in Singapore continues to grow, those who possess digital skills -no matter their occupation- will be the most attractive to Singapore’s expanding industries. Cyber Security skills at all levels will be in high demand over the coming year, particularly within the Infocommunications sector as Singapore prepares for its 5G rollout. Such skills have been labelled as “critical”, with Singapore’s education sector considered the grass roots for ensuring sufficient supply in the coming years.

Grant Torrens, Regional Director, Hays Singapore

Key Skills in Demand

  • Incident Responders (Cyber Security)
  • Business Development Managers
  • Data/Customer Analytics Specialists
  • Cloud Engineers
  • Financial Planning and Analysis Experts

Market Insight

The Singapore economy continued to perform well in 2018, driven by export growth. However, decelerating demand from China, the primary destination for these exports, means the rate of economic expansion is forecast to slow to 0.8% in 2019, well below the annual growth of 5% seen earlier this decade.

Looking ahead, the Government has created ambitious programmes to rebalance the economy. These plans principally involve exploiting new digital technologies and enhancing workers’ skills to compensate for an ageing population and tighter laws on foreign labour. As with other countries, the move to a more digital and automated economy is likely to cause some displacement of labour from some sectors, with the consequent need to reskill those workers, and the growth in employment in new industries.