SINGAPORE: Aside from being the most pessimistic place in Asean, Singapore also dropped to third place in an annual survey on the most desirable countries for expatriates to work.
The nation lost its crown in the recently released Expat Explorer survey by HSBC and fell behind China and Germany amid concerns among respondents over job market security, integration with locals and the rising cost of living.
In particular, more than half the respondents in Singapore – compared to a global average of 39% – cited job security as one of the top three threats to their financial well-being and confidence, said the report, which polled 228 expats in the city state.
The report, now in its sixth year, questioned 7,004 expats across nearly 100 countries from April 29 to June 11 and factored four criteria – economics, experience, raising children abroad and expenses.
Singapore has been tightening its foreign labour policies in recent years.
Under the Fair Consideration Framework announced in September 2013, employers are required, from August 2014, to advertise job vacancies to Singaporeans for 14 days before they can turn to Employment Pass holders.
Singapore also fared poorly when it came to expats integrating into the local community – ranking 26th out of 37 countries.
The survey also showed that 65% of Singapore expats said they were spending more on groceries in 2013, while 63% pointed to the higher costs of public transport and housing.
Education and childcare are also seen as expensive, but nearly eight in 10 appreciated Singapore’s quality of education.
Meawhile on the pessimism scale, the island republic has identified by Gallup, a market reseacher company, as not only the most pessimistic country in Asean but also ranking among the 10 countries worldwide with the most pessimistic people.
The survey’s methodology is based on representative questioning of people and asking them to rate the expected quality of their future live – 5 years from now. The survey gives the percentage of those who rate their future more pessimistic than their current life.
While Greece topped the list of pessimistic countries globally with 38% of respondents pessimistic about the direction of their lives, Singapore ranked eight with 26% of the people questioned saying that they are pessimistic.