Friday, 22 September 2023

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Graduates’ real starting salaries minus 0.4% p.a. last 6 years?

By Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the article “Over 90% of fresh grads from 2012 cohort employed” (Channel NewsAsia, Mar 22).

Salary increased?

It states that “The median gross monthly salary for those in full-time permanent employment was S$3,050.

The mean gross monthly salary for this group was S$3,260.”

$2,700 in 2006?

According to Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) ClassAct Issue 51, June 2007, “NTU graduates from the Class of 2006″ had “a mean gross monthly salary of $2,700″.

In this connection, according to, “ (said) this is higher than both NUS and SMU“.

Salary grew 3.2%?

This means that starting salaries for NTU grew by about 3.2 per cent per annum, from 2006 to 2012.

Real salary minus 0.4%?

Since inflation was about 3,6 per cent per annum for the same 6-year period from 2006 (CPI 91.3) to 2012 (CPI 113.1), does it mean that the real increase in salaries per annum was about minus 0.4 per cent?

Polytechnic graduates negative real increase was worse?

In this connection, it would appear that the negative real increase in university graduates’ salaries, is not as bad as that for polytechnic graduates. (“Polytechnic graduates’ real pay dropped 16%?“, Jan 10)

Foreign workers?

To what extent has the liberal issuance of Employment passes which have a minimum salary of  $3,200 (previously $2,800) and the S-Pass which has a minimum salary of  $2,200 (previously $1,800), contributed to the drop in real salary growth of both university and poly graduates?

Graduate Employment Survey should report real salaries?

I would like to suggest that the annual Graduate Employment Survey report the starting salaries of graduates in real terms too, instead of just the nominal increase.


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