The Online Citizen

Jobs in Singapore – 2011 income growth, 1% or 0.7%?

February 01
16:02 2012

~by: Leong Sze Hian~

I refer to article “Median monthly income of Singaporeans rises 6.3%” (Straits Times, Feb 1) and the Employment Situation 2011 report, (Report) released on 31 January, 2012.

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.

Redundancy up

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!

  • Chanel

    As usual, MOM gives half-fcuked statistics to "support" the conclusion it wants.
    What proportion of S'porean workforce are in part-time or temp jobs?
    Did the number of hours worked increase over the years? Meaning, is the nominal increase in median income due to longer hours worked??

  • Chanel

    As usual, MOM gives half-fcuked statistics to "support" the conclusion it wants.
    What proportion of S'porean workforce are in part-time or temp jobs?
    Did the number of hours worked increase over the years? Meaning, is the nominal increase in median income due to longer hours worked??

  • Sgcynic

    Those who have something to hide will always present data in dribs and drabs

  • Sgcynic

    Those who have something to hide will always present data in dribs and drabs

  • iVOTEahBENG

    today the 143rd newmedias print
    we hav the lowest unmployment in the last 14 ears…
    is only febuary..2 months in 2012…
    somemore valentine day is comin
    why would i seek mployment
    me youngest niece worked for bata shoes in just 1 week, she needs to take 2 weeks off

  • iVOTEahBENG

    today the 143rd newmedias print
    we hav the lowest unmployment in the last 14 ears…
    is only febuary..2 months in 2012…
    somemore valentine day is comin
    why would i seek mployment
    me youngest niece worked for bata shoes in just 1 week, she needs to take 2 weeks off

  • Eric

    Numbers can always be massaged to convey a different story. Statistics is like a bikini. They hide the important parts.  In Sg, we do not have real independent bodies to scrutinize these govt published numbers.  
    In a true democratic society, the free press and universities cannot be counted upon to dig for the truth and challenge the published statistics.  Not in Sg, unfortunately.

  • Eric

    Numbers can always be massaged to convey a different story. Statistics is like a bikini. They hide the important parts.  In Sg, we do not have real independent bodies to scrutinize these govt published numbers.  
    In a true democratic society, the free press and universities cannot be counted upon to dig for the truth and challenge the published statistics.  Not in Sg, unfortunately.

  • Dolphin

    I know this is repeated. Just to reiterate and continue to hammer the point for the 100th time, 'local' employment refers to both PR and Singaporean. What is missing really is a Singaporean data. 

  • Dolphin

    I know this is repeated. Just to reiterate and continue to hammer the point for the 100th time, 'local' employment refers to both PR and Singaporean. What is missing really is a Singaporean data. 

  • Eugene

    The papies are daff and deaf. The papigs still insist on hiring FTs creating an artificial oversupply to depress the salaries.  Give the jobs to many underemployed Singaporeans.

  • Eugene

    The papies are daff and deaf. The papigs still insist on hiring FTs creating an artificial oversupply to depress the salaries.  Give the jobs to many underemployed Singaporeans.

  • thePAPfockers

    they lied cheat and steal
    even in the election

  • thePAPfockers

    they lied cheat and steal
    even in the election

  • Misleading, Useless

    Without a breakdown between locals and foreigners statistic on employment and salaries are misleading and useless.   This is typical PAP – lie with statistics.  It is not what they say that is important ibut what they don't say.   What the Government says can never be taken at face value because of lack of openness and transparency.  It is all pro-PAP propaganda.      

  • Misleading, Useless

    Without a breakdown between locals and foreigners statistic on employment and salaries are misleading and useless.   This is typical PAP – lie with statistics.  It is not what they say that is important ibut what they don't say.   What the Government says can never be taken at face value because of lack of openness and transparency.  It is all pro-PAP propaganda.      

  • God-Fearing Citizen

    Thank you Mr Leong for the analytical sharp insght. It is crystal clear that the government has many things to hide or sweep under the carpet.
    I have completely lost every ounce of respect  and trust  for the self-serving  self-centred disconnected "so so so-called talented" government.
    We truly need talented people like Mr Leong Sze Hian to come forward and speak for us ordinary oppressed Singaporeans.

  • God-Fearing Citizen

    Thank you Mr Leong for the analytical sharp insght. It is crystal clear that the government has many things to hide or sweep under the carpet.
    I have completely lost every ounce of respect  and trust  for the self-serving  self-centred disconnected "so so so-called talented" government.
    We truly need talented people like Mr Leong Sze Hian to come forward and speak for us ordinary oppressed Singaporeans.

  • BlackDot

    Junk stats and junk reporting!
    Those economists/analysts invited to comment in the MSM are also giving  junk commentaries!
    Good job Mr Leong!

  • BlackDot

    Junk stats and junk reporting!
    Those economists/analysts invited to comment in the MSM are also giving  junk commentaries!
    Good job Mr Leong!

  • SINGAPORE SLANG

    to be more trustworthy,they should be putting DR CHEN,or another oppo MP,to be in chnarge of our STATISTIC DEPT.
    that way,the gahMEN will hav emore credibility.

  • SINGAPORE SLANG

    to be more trustworthy,they should be putting DR CHEN,or another oppo MP,to be in chnarge of our STATISTIC DEPT.
    that way,the gahMEN will hav emore credibility.

  • 丿乙

    Even a lwayer knows
    A CLAIM IS A CLAIM UNTIL PROVEN.

  • 丿乙

    Even a lwayer knows
    A CLAIM IS A CLAIM UNTIL PROVEN.

  • Displaced Singaporean Citizen

    Many PMET has still un-employed or UNDER-Employed.
    So, MOM is again not telling the full picture, trying to cheat Singaporeans.

  • Displaced Singaporean Citizen

    Many PMET has still un-employed or UNDER-Employed.
    So, MOM is again not telling the full picture, trying to cheat Singaporeans.

  • what is happening

    just announce to all that many locals are getting displaced and retrenched even as you blink

  • what is happening

    just announce to all that many locals are getting displaced and retrenched even as you blink

  • Singileaks

    The papies are so adamant to recruit the 900,000 Fts claiming that there is an acute shortage. For that msm is going around taking interviews from businessess about the need to hire FTs.
    So ICA is busy processing all the applications?

  • Singileaks

    The papies are so adamant to recruit the 900,000 Fts claiming that there is an acute shortage. For that msm is going around taking interviews from businessess about the need to hire FTs.
    So ICA is busy processing all the applications?

  • David

    MOM data is fixed by the PM so that the minister can get their bonus with ease. No tansparency is needed, they expect us to trust their figures.

  • David

    MOM data is fixed by the PM so that the minister can get their bonus with ease. No tansparency is needed, they expect us to trust their figures.

  • Ron

    Dr Goh Keng Swee of the PAP Old Guards invited foreign MNCs into Spore to provide employment for local citizens. The new PAP leaders invited Foreign Workers to work in Spore and put the local citizens out of jobs. Its time to vote the PAP out in 2016    

  • Ron

    Dr Goh Keng Swee of the PAP Old Guards invited foreign MNCs into Spore to provide employment for local citizens. The new PAP leaders invited Foreign Workers to work in Spore and put the local citizens out of jobs. Its time to vote the PAP out in 2016    

  • 丿乙

    Thanks for the info Mr Leong!

    But only TOC readers are now aware of this.

    Most singaporeans still BAH LONG LONG and totally oblivious.

  • 丿乙

    Thanks for the info Mr Leong!

    But only TOC readers are now aware of this.

    Most singaporeans still BAH LONG LONG and totally oblivious.

  • Bent

    i am jobless, i also know a number of jobless people who are normally not jobless.
    they are taking property lessons, so gov consider them to be employed?

  • Bent

    i am jobless, i also know a number of jobless people who are normally not jobless.
    they are taking property lessons, so gov consider them to be employed?

  • Pingback: Jobs in Singapore – 2011 income growth, 1% or 0.7%?  |  The Temasek Reveal

  • Pingback: Jobs in Singapore – 2011 income growth, 1% or 0.7%?  |  The Temasek Reveal

  • this is not gov we expect

    our gov is not that suitable in that role, they should go do something else and stop destroying our lives and our country

  • this is not gov we expect

    our gov is not that suitable in that role, they should go do something else and stop destroying our lives and our country

  • rockabyebabye

    Hi @Eric: 1 Feb 2012,
    Just a clarification.
    "I believe you meant that "In a true democratic society, the free press and universities CAN be counted upon to dig for the truth and challenge the published statistics. Not in Sg, unfortunately."?

  • rockabyebabye

    Hi @Eric: 1 Feb 2012,
    Just a clarification.
    "I believe you meant that "In a true democratic society, the free press and universities CAN be counted upon to dig for the truth and challenge the published statistics. Not in Sg, unfortunately."?

  • Forbetterjustice

    The MSM is busy attacking the WP's fallen angel instead of focusing on the jobs-well-being of our Singaporeans. This morning while I was rushing through my breakfast, a able-bodied beggar came up to ask for money. When not given he turned aggressive – do you read this ST Political Editor? Even beggars are angry with just about anyone who do not stop to help? Where is your political acumen?

  • Forbetterjustice

    The MSM is busy attacking the WP's fallen angel instead of focusing on the jobs-well-being of our Singaporeans. This morning while I was rushing through my breakfast, a able-bodied beggar came up to ask for money. When not given he turned aggressive – do you read this ST Political Editor? Even beggars are angry with just about anyone who do not stop to help? Where is your political acumen?

  • SINGAPORE SLANG

    JOBS? INCOME$ GROWTH?
     
    REALLY? how come so many sgporeans are jobless and penniless?
    the gross income growth is just an aberration,a play of statistics.
    it is the HUGE INCOME GROWTHS of the MINISTERS and others top private sector executives that actually PUSH UP AND INFLATE THE GROSS INCOME as many half-baked  FTs who replace good and honest sgporeans cheat in cohort with their employers to 'return' a portion of their pay to the employers with the knowledge of gahMEN,i stronlgy belive unless the gahMEN ARE SLEEPING on their HIGHLY PAID JOBS?
    OUR GAHmen need to come clean on all the corrupt ans unethical practices that are taking place in our workplaces as such practices are UNFAIR competition to our own local sgporean workers and are immoral at the same time.
    the MOM,ntuc,MYCS and the HOME AFFAIRS ministers need to be more open about what is actually going on in our employment practices here.

  • SINGAPORE SLANG

    JOBS? INCOME$ GROWTH?
     
    REALLY? how come so many sgporeans are jobless and penniless?
    the gross income growth is just an aberration,a play of statistics.
    it is the HUGE INCOME GROWTHS of the MINISTERS and others top private sector executives that actually PUSH UP AND INFLATE THE GROSS INCOME as many half-baked  FTs who replace good and honest sgporeans cheat in cohort with their employers to 'return' a portion of their pay to the employers with the knowledge of gahMEN,i stronlgy belive unless the gahMEN ARE SLEEPING on their HIGHLY PAID JOBS?
    OUR GAHmen need to come clean on all the corrupt ans unethical practices that are taking place in our workplaces as such practices are UNFAIR competition to our own local sgporean workers and are immoral at the same time.
    the MOM,ntuc,MYCS and the HOME AFFAIRS ministers need to be more open about what is actually going on in our employment practices here.

  • what the heck

    the govt purposefully replace our workers including many white collar workers and pme/s. Wanting to boost GDP and having overheated our economy for some years already, they rather die than admit your problem is the result of what the govt had done to the country.

    Can attest that the rosy figures on singaporean employment is a big chunk coming from new citizens and PRs.

    the many singaporean pme/s losing out are not really keeping quiet, they are searching for part-time work to get by and survive. They have family members to support and are complaining to friends!

  • what the heck

    the govt purposefully replace our workers including many white collar workers and pme/s. Wanting to boost GDP and having overheated our economy for some years already, they rather die than admit your problem is the result of what the govt had done to the country.

    Can attest that the rosy figures on singaporean employment is a big chunk coming from new citizens and PRs.

    the many singaporean pme/s losing out are not really keeping quiet, they are searching for part-time work to get by and survive. They have family members to support and are complaining to friends!

  • Glen Lopez n the Fleeced Dogman

    Talking abt jobs, i am concerned that the unimaginably high minsterial salary could deter talents with diff Value System from serving because their believe n values systems different and fear could not work in that kind of environment.

  • Glen Lopez n the Fleeced Dogman

    Talking abt jobs, i am concerned that the unimaginably high minsterial salary could deter talents with diff Value System from serving because their believe n values systems different and fear could not work in that kind of environment.

  • Johnny

    It is extremely frustrating when the govt is constantly confusing us with half truths and heavily massaged statistics. How can they blame us for not trusting them?? Only brain damaged mules will read the Straits Times and treat it like the Gospel of Truth these days. A first world country? A developed nation? The pride of being a Singaporeans? PAP is really making it tough for us to have any belief.

  • Johnny

    It is extremely frustrating when the govt is constantly confusing us with half truths and heavily massaged statistics. How can they blame us for not trusting them?? Only brain damaged mules will read the Straits Times and treat it like the Gospel of Truth these days. A first world country? A developed nation? The pride of being a Singaporeans? PAP is really making it tough for us to have any belief.

  • The devil is in the details

    Many of the civil servants have not seen an increase in pay. They mentioned pay has increased. But that's not he case, my pay check remains the same. So many of us don't buy what the strats times is printing.

  • The devil is in the details

    Many of the civil servants have not seen an increase in pay. They mentioned pay has increased. But that's not he case, my pay check remains the same. So many of us don't buy what the strats times is printing.

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  • son of s

    It may be that we are in the middle of an era where the incumbent political party has by control of  all the State Institutions of communication, law and police forced  upon the citizenry, the import of shiploads of foreign nationals, for the purpose of enriching themselves through their labour. Such loads of foreign workers have as a consequence elbowed the indigenous population from their jobs, homes, and other municipal services. A quantitive methodology ( such as Cost Benefit Analysis) must be used to ascertain whether or not the foreign massive and sudden input of foreign  people  has indeed ousted the livelihood and living space of Singaporeans for their own benefit and to the Singaporeans' cost., If it is proved to be  thus, then there is a case to be said that the PAP under LKY  has engineered  a scheme to enrich themselves  by turning all of Singapore into a single giant factory  occuping the whole of the Island Nation.If such is the case, then we are witnesses and victims of  a vast scheme of corruption which promises to usurp the very soil and land of a people and destroy their identity as a Nation made independant of British Rule since 50 years ago. Another view would be that The PAP under the leadership of LKY has recolonised the country as their own State for working out .annual profits on which they have the freedom to impose any level of fees for running it and its  honeypots .

  • son of s

    It may be that we are in the middle of an era where the incumbent political party has by control of  all the State Institutions of communication, law and police forced  upon the citizenry, the import of shiploads of foreign nationals, for the purpose of enriching themselves through their labour. Such loads of foreign workers have as a consequence elbowed the indigenous population from their jobs, homes, and other municipal services. A quantitive methodology ( such as Cost Benefit Analysis) must be used to ascertain whether or not the foreign massive and sudden input of foreign  people  has indeed ousted the livelihood and living space of Singaporeans for their own benefit and to the Singaporeans' cost., If it is proved to be  thus, then there is a case to be said that the PAP under LKY  has engineered  a scheme to enrich themselves  by turning all of Singapore into a single giant factory  occuping the whole of the Island Nation.If such is the case, then we are witnesses and victims of  a vast scheme of corruption which promises to usurp the very soil and land of a people and destroy their identity as a Nation made independant of British Rule since 50 years ago. Another view would be that The PAP under the leadership of LKY has recolonised the country as their own State for working out .annual profits on which they have the freedom to impose any level of fees for running it and its  honeypots .

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