MOM initiates new annual survey on freelancers

The Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say said that in September last year the MOM has initiated a new annual survey, to gather statistics on the changes in the freelancing landscape to understand the profiles of freelancers, including whether it is their primary or secondary source of income, and in what sectors and occupations. This was done in relation with the increase in numbers of workers participating in the ‘sharing economy’.
Mr Lim made the statement in answering the Member of Parliament Desmond Choo (Tampines GRC) in the 13th Parliamentary Session on 7 February, who has asked the Minister that in light of the increase in numbers of workers participating in the ‘sharing economy’ as freelancers or self-employed whether has there been a deflationary impact on wages in sectors with a high concentration of such workers, and how can the Government help these workers to be financially adequate in their retirement.
Mr Lim said that in June last year, there were about 180,000 primary freelancers who operated their own business or trade as their main work without employing any paid worker, accounting for around 8% of working residents.
“Even though the share of these primary freelancers has remained relatively stable, at between 8 to 10 percent over the past 10 years, their numbers could be growing in specific sectors such as private hire car services,” Mr Lim said.
He added the emergence of ‘sharing economy’ platforms may enable more people to take up freelancing as a secondary source of income.
While The Minister has not answer Mr Choo’s question, however, he promised that with the information from the survey, MOM will monitor closely the workforce trends of the ‘sharing economy’ and look into the issues that freelancers may face, including retirement adequacy.

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