Worker shortage slows Singapore construction

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Sg workerA shortage of workers in Singapore is the reason that many construction projects now may cost more and take longer to complete, The Straits Times reported.

Experts say the strong construction demand is expected to continue with many big projects in the pipeline, including public housing and infrastructure works such as the Singapore MRT’s Thomson Line. While this is good news for the industry, contractors say they are struggling to cope with the manpower shortage.

This year’s total construction demand is a projected $22.5 billion to $27.4 billion, compared with last year’s $24.7 billion. Work permits in the construction industry have risen to 306,500 this June, from 180,000 at end-2007. But labor quotas for each project have been nearly halved since 2010. With fewer workers to do more work, completion of some projects is being delayed by “several months,” he said.

The wages of workers have also risen, raising business costs. It is estimated that hiring a worker within a contractor’s quota now costs around $1,450 to $1,600 a month, compared with $970 five years ago. This is on top of rising living costs. Accommodation fees have risen as well as medical insurance bills for workers.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

A shortage of workers in Singapore is the reason that many construction projects now may cost more and take longer to complete, The Straits Times reported.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Sg workerA shortage of workers in Singapore is the reason that many construction projects now may cost more and take longer to complete, The Straits Times reported.

Experts say the strong construction demand is expected to continue with many big projects in the pipeline, including public housing and infrastructure works such as the Singapore MRT’s Thomson Line. While this is good news for the industry, contractors say they are struggling to cope with the manpower shortage.

This year’s total construction demand is a projected $22.5 billion to $27.4 billion, compared with last year’s $24.7 billion. Work permits in the construction industry have risen to 306,500 this June, from 180,000 at end-2007. But labor quotas for each project have been nearly halved since 2010. With fewer workers to do more work, completion of some projects is being delayed by “several months,” he said.

The wages of workers have also risen, raising business costs. It is estimated that hiring a worker within a contractor’s quota now costs around $1,450 to $1,600 a month, compared with $970 five years ago. This is on top of rising living costs. Accommodation fees have risen as well as medical insurance bills for workers.

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