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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Employment Rate for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents at Different Age Groups

Notice Paper No. 325 Of 2014 For The Sitting On 4 November 2014 Question No. 303 For Written Answer

NMP: Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the employment rate for Singaporeans and permanent residents respectively for the respective age groups of (i) 21 to 30 years (ii) 31 to 40 years (iii) 41 to 50 years (iv) 51 to 60 years (v) 61 to 70 years (vi) 71 to 80 years and (vii) 80 years and above; (b) what is the breakdown of those not in the workforce in terms of men and women for each age group; and (c) what are the reasons for them being unemployed.


  1. Referring to Chart 1 in the distributed handout1, data from MOM’s Comprehensive Labour Force Survey indicates that the employment rates for citizens and permanent residents are broadly similar across age groups. Citizens and permanent residents aged 30 to 49 enjoy high employment rates of over 80%, while the employment rates for those aged 50 and above are also relatively high (75% and 50% for those in their 50s and 60s respectively).
  2. Mr Gan Thiam Poh also asked for the breakdown of those not in the workforce by age and sex, as well as their reasons for inactivity. Most of these residents are students, home-makers, care-givers, seniors who have retired or those who are unable to work.
  3. Chart 2 of the handout shows the breakdown of economically inactive residents by age and sex. 70% of all economically inactive residents are between 15 to 24 years, or 60 years and above. The majority (95%) of residents aged 15 to 24 who are economically inactive cite education and training as their main reason for not being in the workforce. Retirement or poor health are the most commonly cited reasons for residents aged 60 and above.
  4. For economically inactive residents within the prime-working ages of 25 to 59, females outnumber males by five times, with 80% of these economically inactive females citing housework and care-giving responsibilities as their main reason for inactivity.

1The handout can be found in Appendix A within this document.