Our services centres are open for customers with appointments. Please use our online services (e.g. eServices, web chat, website) or make an appointment if you’re unable to use our digital services. Find out what are the current work pass requirements.
Skip to main content

Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to PQ on the Salaries of Work Permit Holders Since 1990, 2000 and 2019

NOTICE PAPER NO. 2015 OF 2020 FOR SITTING ON 3 MARCH

QUESTION NO. 1629 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

NMP: Ms Anthea Ong

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether salaries have risen or fallen for work permit holders since (i) 1990 (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2019, and by how much; and (b) how much have industries that rely mostly on work permit holders seen a rise or decline in their profits since (i) 1990 (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2019

Answer

  1. From 2005 to 2019, the median monthly salary of work permit holders (excluding foreign domestic workers) increased by 2.2% per annum in nominal terms. Data from 2004 and before are not directly comparable as they also include the equivalent of S Pass holders who are generally higher skilled than work permit holders.
  2. Wages tend to reflect demand and supply of specific labour markets and may not correlate with profitability of the industries. In any case, as reported by the Economic Development Board (EDB), net operating surplus for the Marine Shipyard sector declined by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2% per annum (in nominal terms) between 2005 and 2018. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) reported that net operating surplus for the Construction sector grew by a CAGR of 9.3% per annum (in nominal terms) between 2005 and 2017. Work permit holders are a significant share of the workforce in both sectors.