I would divide Singapore jobs scenario into 2 eras
1. pre 2005, when Singapore had not signed bilateral economic corporation agreement with any other country , the jobs were strictly monitored by 3 to 1 quota system ( 3 locals for every FT) and very rarely , any exceptions made to it. In those days the local job seekers did not have much trouble finding “a job” yes finding “the job” was a bit of struggle but was an achievable target.
2. Post 2005, that’s where Singapore signed agreements such as CECP with India which opened up 314 categories of job, where a job Seeker only need a letter of appointment from a company and the quota system (3 to 1) was sidelined.
These agreements allowed Singapore government link Investment corporation exclusive investment rights in the countries such as India, so basically government of Singapore sold Singaporean jobs down the road for investment opportunity in another foreign land hence leaving the citizens of Singapore the double whammy as not only the jobs were gone but also the benefits of GLC link Investments in those countries never reached the citizens.
The new tactics by the foreign job Seekers made them favored among SME , most commonly the kickback aspect where the salary is declared much higher to qualify for Employment pass, where is the actual negotiated salary is much lower and every month the difference is payed back to SME big boss.
Imagine a ccompany employing 15 Ep holders who kickback 1500S$ a month “tax free”, “no accounting to IRS required” the big boss pockets 15000$ a month text free, very free then as if he hires 15 local citizens he has to pay employers CPF contribution every month on top of market rate salary with no personal benefit to him whatsoever.
Unless all these loopholes aren’t closed the job market for the local season will remain doomed.