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Survey findings: Singapore is among 10 most desirable countries to work in

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Fewer Singaporeans want to work abroad due to Covid-19

Tricia Ang | 19 March 2021

city skyline under white cloudy sky during daytime
Photo by @Paulina_art on Unsplash
  • Singapore is now the 8th most attractive country to relocate to among workers; Singapore was previously ranked 18th in 2018 and 24th in 2014
  • Other countries in the top 10 include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States
  • Survey findings also revealed that substantially fewer Singaporeans (44%) want to work overseas, down from 70% in 2018 and 79% in 2014

In light of the management of the Covid-19 situation, Singapore has jumped to a top 10 spot for the first time as a desirable place to work, a study revealed. The study also revealed that much fewer Singaporeans want to work abroad now, as compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The findings were released on Monday (March 15) as part of a survey on workforce mobility around the world, done by employment matching firm Seek Asia and job marketplace JobStreet.

With the help of recruitment company The Network and management consulting company Boston Consulting Group, a total of 208,807 people were polled across more than 190 countries. 

Among the participants, 6,280 were from Singapore, with the majority being citizens. The participants have a diversity of work backgrounds, including industries such as retail, finance and tech.

Singapore is now the 8th most attractive country to relocate to among workers; Singapore was previously ranked 18th in 2018 and 24th in 2014. Other countries in the top 10 include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.

Those who expressed interest to work in Singapore came mainly from China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Switzerland — the only European city in the top 10 list among the origin countries.

JobStreet said in its press release: “Beyond commendable Covid-19 preparedness and response, Singapore has always been an appealing work destination for global talent. Other than robust international trade and investment, her digital infrastructure, national stability and culture of innovation also inspire confidence. 

“The top 10 countries from where PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians), specifically in the digital field, would like to (go) to Singapore to work include China (fifth), Qatar (sixth), United Arab Emirates (eighth) and Switzerland (10th). These talents enjoy a high quality of life, and Singapore’s standard of living and working matches their home countries.”

Survey findings also revealed that substantially fewer Singaporeans (44%) want to work overseas, a sharp drop from the 70% in 2018 and 79% in 2014


It was found that participants in Singapore, working in the media and information industry were the most willing to move overseas and work abroad, with 72% of those surveyed indicating they would do so. 

The study also found that Australia still remains the top destination where Singaporeans would like to work, mostly due to the favourable work-life balance in the country and that it Australia has a multicultural society. Other favourable countries include China and Taiwan, which took the second and third positions respectively.

Countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, which were the second and third most popular destinations in 2018, fell and were found to be less popular in the 2020 survey.

This data suggests that Singaporeans are also more willing to work in countries that have emerged as role models where Covid-19 management is concerned, JobStreet said.

A comparison of the top 10 desired work destinations in 2014, 2018 and 2020

A comparison of the top 10 desired work destinations in 2014, 2018 and 2020.
Photo from Jobstreet

Among the top countries that Singaporeans would look to for remote work are Australia, China and the United States.

Conversely, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were among the top countries where employers there said that they would consider Singaporeans for remote employment.

Source: Today Online