Income inequality may be increasing again

From Yawning Bread

I would like to present a few key facts from the Workforce 2010 report, which is based on a survey conducted in the middle of this year of citizens and Permanent Residents. In other words, the data discussed here excludes Work Permit and Employment Pass holders.

The median income of all employed persons (citizens and PRs), full-time and part-time, is S$2,500. This means exactly half of employed persons earn below S$2,500 and half above the median.

21 percent earn below S$1,200 per month.

The ministry’s report contains more details distinguishing full-time from part-time, but as Leong also pointed out, with “part-time” defined as working as much as 35 hours a week, it is pretty meaningless applying this distinction. Here, I too am largely ignoring it.

The actual number of people earning under $1,200 in the middle of this year was 400,100. Two thirds of them (262,700) work full-time (i.e. more than 35 hours a week) to earn what they earn, i.e. under $1,200.

Paragraph 3.6 of the Workforce 2010 report was what got me particularly interested.

First, it reported that the median income for all employed persons (i.e. full-time and part-time citizens and PRs) rose 3.3 percent in gross terms 2010 over 2009. Adjusted for inflation, it represented a rise of 1.0 percent.

However, 2009′s median income for all employed persons was 1.2 percent lower than 2008; 1.8 percent lower after adjusting for inflation. This means the median income has not yet recovered to the level of 2008 in terms of purchasing power.

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