Jobs in Singapore – 2011 income growth, 1% or 0.7%?
~by: Leong Sze Hian~
Foreign employment up, locals down?
Despite the consistent rhetoric that foreign labour will be scaled down, local employment grew by 36,600 in 2011, against foreign employment growing by 84,800.
In fact, local employment growth declined by 35 per cent, from 56,200 in 2010. And of these, how many “locals” were Singaporeans?
In contrast, foreign employment growth increased by 42 per cent, from 59,700 in 2010.
The Report also said “3,600 workers were made redundant in the fourth quarter of 2011. This was substantially higher than the 1,960 laid off in the preceding quarter” What percentage of 'locals' were affected by these redundancies?
Include employer CPF?
The Report further stated, “Among Singapore citizens in full-time employment, the median monthly income from work rose by 6.3% over the year to $3,070 in June 2011…After adjusting for inflation, the real income growth was 1.0 per cent in 2011”,
It is also interesting to note the statement “In this analysis, income from work includes employer CPF contributions for employees", as this would mean that it is inconsistent with other MOM reports, like the Job Vacancies 2011 report, which cites wage data excluding employer CPF contributions.
I also understand that historically, MOM reports have also typically used wage data excluding employer CPF contributions.
Income up or down?
If we use the 'excluding employer CPF contributions’ data of $2,708 in 2011, over $2,588 in 2010, normal median income grew by only 4.6%, or – 0.7% in real terms.
Similarly, the nominal median income growth for the last five years, was 30.7% instead of 34.1% (including employer CPF).
Hence, in real terms, I estimate the annualized growth to be about 1.9% (excluding employer CPF), against the 2.5% (including employer CPF).
10 Years – hardly any increase?
If we look at the data for the last 10 years, for example, the income of Singapore citizens at the 20th percentile level, grew by only 25%, from $1,200 in 2001 to $1,500 in 2011 (excluding employer CPF contributions).
In real terms, I estimate the annualized growth to be about 0.2%.
This is a far cry from the 2.2% real annualized growth for the last five years (including employer CPF contributions).
No part-time workers?
Finally, what is perhaps conspicuously absent from the report, is the income data for part-time workers and total workers (full and part-time).
Perhaps that data may be worse than the “full-time only” statistics.
This is part 1 of a 3-part series on Jobs in Singapore by Leong Sze Hian. Support TOC! Buy Uncle Leong’s book here!