Stricter hiring policies have slowed down the inflow of foreign workers and bumped up the hiring of locals, according to new figures from the Manpower Ministry (MOM).
In 2013, the pool of foreigners, excluding maids, grew by 48,400. This is significantly less than the increase of 67,100 foreign workers in 2012.
Most of the foreign workers were hired by construction firms, which need manpower for upcoming infrastructure projects such as new MRT lines.
Meanwhile, the employment of Singaporeans and permanent residents improved.
The number of locals with jobs grew by 82,900 in 2013, up from an increase of 58,700 in 2012.
MOM's labour market report also showed that as of last December, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among Singaporeans was 2.8 per cent, a dip from 2.9 per cent as of December 2012.
Income growth improved due to the tight labour market and lower inflation. Real median monthly incomes for fully employed Singaporeans hiked by 4.6 per cent in 2013, up from an increase of 2.1 per cent in 2012.