Following the details about local salaries — with the median hitting over S$5,000 this year — the advance release of Labour Market Report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) reveals an early summary of the employment situation in Singapore in 2022.
The city-state is no longer merely “bouncing back” from the pandemic, but gradually pushing the boundaries of its all-time performance benchmarks.
Highest resident employment on record
Among residents (citizens and Permanent Residents) aged 15 or more, employment rate has reached 67.5 per cent — more than two percent higher than before the pandemic.
It may seem to some that perhaps, this is just a boost caused by the economic crunch that Covid-19 has caused, pushing more people to look for temporary jobs to aid family budgets.
However, after a temporary swing during the pandemic — when, indeed, more people fell out of permanent employment into gig work — the situation is back to normal and yet employment levels are higher than ever.
This means far more Singaporeans are in permanent employment, even in absolute numbers (as a higher percentage of a higher share of employed residents):
Singapore versus OECD
While not a member of OECD, the group of largely the most developed countries on the planet provides a good benchmark for the city-state. So, how does it compare?
Well, if it was a member, it would be one very close to the top in terms of employment of its population — third overall, second for males and fourth for females — considerably above OECD averages which, quite shockingly, show that across the entire block, only a little over than half of the working age population is employed.
Quality follows quantity
It isn’t just the number of jobs that matters, though. As we reported here earlier, salaries have grown rapidly this year too, with the bottom 20 per cent earners outpacing even the median, which crossed S$5,000 per month for the first time ever.
Moreover, in line with long-term trends, the proportion of PMETs among resident employees keeps going up, estimated to have reached 63.6 per cent this year — up by over 10 percentage points in a decade.
Conversely, the share of residents employed in clerical work or maintenance has steadily gone down.
This qualitative change is visible not only in the types of employment though, but also in the time spent at work, which keeps decreasing every year.
Compared to pre-pandemic 2019, local residents work, on average, approximately 1.2 hours fewer per week — which adds up to around 60 hours per year, while earning more and being employed in better, more rewarding jobs.
Featured Image Credit: 123rf