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Singapore Workforce, 2012

Employment Rate Reached A New High, As Labour Force Participation Rose

30 November 2012

  1. The resident employment rate reached a new high, reflecting the strong employment creation and the rise in labour force participation among women and older residents. However, income growth has moderated, amid the weaker economic conditions. These are the key findings from the “Singapore Workforce, 2012” report by the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department, based on the 2012 Comprehensive Labour Force Survey conducted in the middle of this year1.

    Main Findings
  2. Singapore’s resident labour force grew faster in 2012, reflecting the increase in the resident labour force participation rate to a new high2 of 66.6% in 2012 from 66.1% in 2011. The resident labour force rose by 1.9% over the year to 2.12 million in June 2012, up from the growth of 1.6% in 2011. Nevertheless, this is substantially below the average increase of 2.6% p.a. from 2002 to 2012, reflecting the slower growth in resident population in recent years.
  3. With the rise in labour force participation rate and continued strong employment creation, the employment rate rose to another new high2. 78.8% of the resident population aged 25 to 64 were employed in 2012, up from 78.0% in 2011.
  4. The employment rate for older residents increased at a faster pace, amid the tight labour market and measures to improve the employability of older residents, including the implementation of the re-employment legislation and the enhanced Special Employment Credit earlier this year. 64.0% of residents aged 55 to 64 were employed in 2012, higher than 61.2% in 2011. Both the employment rate for older males (from 76.4% to 79.7%) and females (from 46.3% to 48.1%) rose to new highs2.
  5. Both professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs) and non-PMETs experienced employment gains over the year. Driven by the strong increase in clerical, sales & service workers (7.0%) which outweighed the decrease in production & related workers (-1.8%), resident non-PMET employment increased by 2.7% in 2012, faster than the growth of 1.5% for PMETs. Consequently, the PMET share of resident employment dipped from 52.2% in 2011 to 51.9% in 2012. This was still higher than the 44.6% in 2002 as PMETs experienced faster employment growth (4.5% p.a.) than non-PMETs (1.4% p.a.) over the decade. Similar trends were observed for professionals, managers & executives (PMEs), whose share of resident employment rose from 26.6% in 2002 to 31.5% in 2011 before dipping to 31.2% in 2012.
  6. Income growth moderated in 2012, amid the weaker economic conditions. The median monthly income from work (including employer CPF contributions) of full-time employed residents rose by 7.1% over the year to $3,480 in 2012, down from the growth of 8.3% in 2011. Accounting for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items,3 real median income growth moderated to 2.2%P in 2012 from 2.9% in 2011. Adjusting for CPI excluding imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation (which do not involve actual expenditures), the growth in real median income (including employer CPF contributions) was 3.3%P in 2012, compared with 3.9% in 2011.

    For More Information
  7. The “Singapore Workforce, 2012” report is available for download on MOM's Statistics and Publications webpage. A full report of the survey findings will be published in the “Labour Force in Singapore, 2012” on 31 January 2013.

1 A total of 28,708 households responded to the survey, achieving a response rate of 91.6%. Please refer to Annex A of the Singapore Workforce, 2012 report for more details.

2 Since the start of the data series in 1991.

3 In the first nine months of 2012, the Consumer Price Index for all items rose over the year by 4.8%, down from the increase of 5.2% in the whole of 2011.

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