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Written Reply by Mr Lim Swee Say Minister for Manpower to Parliament Question on Real and Nominal Wage Growth

Notice paper no. 717 of 2017 for the sitting on 8 May 2017

Question no. 538 for oral answer

MP: Mr Chen Show Mao

To ask the Minister for Manpower what was the real and nominal wage growth for Singaporeans in each decile for each of the last 10 years.


  1. The Ministry of Manpower monitors the wage outcome of the workforce by tracking income trends at the 20th percentile1 (low-wage workers) and 50th percentile (general workers). The annual change in nominal and real2 gross monthly income (including employer CPF contributions) by the 20th and 50th percentile for Full-Time Employed3 Singaporeans, from 2007 to 2016, is provided in Table 1.
  2. Table 1: Annual Change (%) in Gross Monthly Income from Work4 (including Employer CPF contributions) of Full-Time Employed Singaporeans, June 2007—2016
    2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014   2015  2016
Norminal P20  6.2 7.7 4.9 2.2 7.8 1.9 9.3 3.1 5.9 2.8
  P50 7.0 12.2 0.0 5.1 6.3 5.8 7.1 2.5 6.5 0.7
 Real P20 3.9 1.1 4.2 -0.6 2.3 -2.6 6.8 2.1 6.4 3.5
  P50 4.7 5.3 -0.6 2.2 0.9 1.2 4.7 1.4 7.0 1.3

Source: Comprehensive Labour Force Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, MOM


  1. It should be noted that due to greater churn among workers at the lower end of the income spectrum, income changes for the 20th percentile tend to be volatile on a year-on-year basis.
  2. Deflated by Consumer Price Index for all items at 2014 prices (2014=100).
  3. 3Full-time employment refers to employment where the normal hours of work are 35 hours or more in a week.
  4. 4Gross monthly income refers to income earned from employment. For employees, it refers to the gross monthly wages or salaries before deduction of employee CPF contributions and personal income tax. It comprises basic wages, overtime pay, commissions, tips, other allowances and one-twelfth of annual bonuses. For self-employed persons, gross monthly income refers to the average monthly profits from their business, trade or profession (i.e. total receipts less business expenses incurred) before deduction of income tax.