Locals Vs ‘Us’

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The most common symptom of a recession is unemployment. The positive correlation of output and unemployment is straightforward for anyone with some basic economics. As output falls, employment fall since firms need less workers to produce goods due to falling demand for domestically produced goods. Currently, Singapore is going through such a patch. Hence, the competition arises between the locals and foreigners for the limited job vacancies. As usual, the locals are crying for help given their motto ‘when in trouble ask the government’. Fortunately, the erudite government knows its economics unlike most governments around the world.

Cutting down on foreigner workers to accommodate locals would just worsen this problem we are facing:

  1. Remember that locals and foreigners DO NOT compete for the same jobs. Over 70% of the foreigners work in the manufacturing & construction sector, which pays on average less than S$600 per month. Jobs which NO local would want to do, which is exactly why the foreigners were brought here in the first place. A country where people have to be reminded to clear their food trays and trash are anything but prepared to be the people who actually end up cleaning it.
  2. Even if some locals were to say that before they had better jobs but now they would settle for even these jobs. These industry jobs require intensive training, a cost which most firms cannot incur now. Further training and recruitment costs are the last thing firms need as they are trying to cutting down their costs.
  3. Simple economics, foreign labor is cheap, freaking cheap actually. The only reason certain firms are still a going concern is because a majority of their cost savings are from employing foreign labor. If we get rid of foreign labor, firms’ costs would increase and the end result more firms would shut down.
  4. For the ignorant few, Singapore government has certain policies that requires firms to employ locals for every XX number of foreigners. Hence, in the above point if firms close down due to the increasing costs, the locals who were hired to meet this statutory requirement would also lose their jobs.
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