In addition, the country’s labor market has also seen an improvement in the unemployment rate, as well as the income of low-paid workers.
The employment rate of Singapore residents has surpassed pre-COVID levels, according to the latest report on the work of the Ministry of Manpower of the Ministry of Manpower and Statistics, Singapore Workforce Anticipated Publication 2021. The trend is said to have been reinforced by tripartite efforts under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.
Minister of Manpower, Dr Tan See Leng said he was relieved that the job market has made good progress since last year’s findings. “The improvement is a reflection of the resilience and adaptability of our employers and workers, as well as the efforts of tripartite partners on various fronts.”
the Singapore Workforce Anticipated Publication 2021 builds on the fieldwork of the 2021 Global Workforce Survey (CLFS); and analyzes a wider range of labor market indicators, such as employment rate and income growth, which are not covered in quarterly labor market reports.
Other findings from the report revealed that:
- While the demand for temporary labor – resulting from COVID-related activities – has contributed to an increase in employment, the number of residents in permanent jobs has also increased;
- Unemployment and time-related underemployment rates improved but remained above pre-COVID rates;
- Nominal and real incomes of residents have increased;
- Although real income growth was moderated by higher inflation, it exceeded the slight decline in 2020;
- Median income has exceeded pre-COVID level;
- Returned to 20e percentile increased faster than median income and to a level comparable to pre-COVID, and
- Payments linked to the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) have further increased the incomes of low-wage workers.
Numbers & Figures
The report indicates that the employment rate of residents aged 15 and over fell from 64.5% in June 2020 to 67.2% in June 2021, after falling from 65.2% in June 2019, which reflects the economic recovery and the positive impact of measures such as SGUnited. Employment and skills package, employment support program and incentive to increase employment in the labor market.
Under-Secretary General of the NTUC, Patrick Tay, the improvement observed in the employment rate was generalized according to demographic profiles, reflecting the economic recovery and employment support measures.
Dividing the numbers into specific demographics, Singapore’s employment rate is as follows:
- Youth (15 to 24 years old) – the employment rate rose from 30.9% in June 2020 to 37.2% in June 20212. “This is mainly explained by the increase in the number of students holding part-time or temporary jobs”, explains the report;
- Adults (25 to 64) – the employment rate rose from 80.3% in June 2020 to 81.8% in June 2021;
- The elderly (65 years and over) – the employment rate rose to 28.5% in June of last year despite the recession, and continued to increase at a faster pace to reach 31.7% in June 2021. The report adds that this sign is “supported by sustained efforts to increase the employability of older workers, such as the subsidy for older workers for first-time users”, and
- Genre – the employment rate for men rose from 87.9% to 88.9%, and from 73.2% to 75.1% for women.
In terms of permanent and temporary jobs, the âgreat majority of resident employees (88%)â were part of the first group, increasing its size by 50,900 in number. The latter group, meanwhile, saw an increase in demand to 8.4%, up from 7.3% in June 2020.
As for Singapore’s unemployment rate, the unadjusted rate for residents is as follows:
- Non-PMETs fell from 6.4% in June 2020 to 5.1% in June 2021, and
- PMETs also edged down from 3.5% to 3.4%.
These rates, according to the report, have yet to return to pre-COVID rates. Long-term unemployment rates remained at 0.8% for PMETs and 0.9% for non-PMETs after increasing last year.
NTUC Deputy Secretary General, Desmond Choo shared that overall it looks like the economy is recovering and that the support measures have borne fruit despite a very fluid situation – the latest being the strengthening of border measures for the Omicron variant. “A slight drop in unemployment rates during the year reflects stabilizing market adaptation to an economy affected by COVID.”
Time-related unemployment rate
The report also found that the rate of time-related underemployment of residents fell from 4.1% in June 2020 to 3.5% in June 2021. It is still “above pre-COVID rates. “.
âMost groups have seen improvements, including less educated and older workers who have been hit the hardest in the last year.
“Affected by the suspension of food services and in-person / enrichment courses during the heightened alert period, rates of time-related underemployment were highest in food services and education in June 2021, and their rates were also higher than pre-COVID levels, âthe report explained.
In terms of income levels, the nominal median income of full-time employed residents increased in June 2021 (3.2%) after declining in June 2020 (-0.6%). The real income of full-time workers in the 20e The percentile rose 4.6% in June 2021 and “is back to about the pre-COVID level.”
Looking at low-wage workers in Singapore, over a five-year period (2016 to 2021), the report indicated that their real income growth “has remained strong, allowing them to continue to gain ground on median incomes. “.
“With government measures such as the progressive wage model, the growth of real income in the 20e percentile (2.8% pa) of full-time employed residents exceeded the growth in median income (2.2% pa), âthe report adds.
ASG Choo added on structural issues in the labor market, such as mismatches between skills and expectations, which must be constantly re-examined.
âWe are also finding that the incomes of low-wage workers (LWWs) are growing faster than the median wage, which goes hand in hand with the continued importance NTUC places on increasing LWWs. Looking to the future, we must always keep in mind that inflation can erode some of the gains from wage growth. “
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