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The sticky manpower problem in a super-aged Singapore

National Day Rally 2023 reminded us, once again, that Singapore is fast becoming a super-aged society. While Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech focused on various aspects of successful ageing, including retirement adequacy, active ageing and senior-friendly infrastructure, there is one dimension that looms large over Singapore’s future: The impact of ageing on our workforce and economy.

With an ageing workforce, fertility far below replacement rate and limits to immigration, it will not be long before Singapore’s workforce size plateaus. Ageing will also create additional manpower needs in healthcare and aged care services. This could lead to manpower shortfalls in key sectors as workers retire and healthcare needs rise. 

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