A report on the labour force released by the Ministry of Manpower today (30 Nov) has showed that income growth has slowed and resident unemployment has increased amidst slowing economic conditions.
On the surface, nominal incomes of resident Singaporeans have increased by 3.2% this year, compared to last year’s 5.3%. Resident unemployment remains stable at 3% with the overall participation rate dipping to 68%.
However, deeper statistics show a more worrying picture.
A separate report last month by SingStat has showed that productivity growth has declined by 0.1% despite a 6.3% year-on-year increase in the unit labour cost of manufacturing.
At the same time, there are 144,900 residents (14%) who are outside of the labour force but have indicated their intention to look for a job within the next 2 years. Among this group, degree holders form the largest population at 34.1%.
Concurrently, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for residents increased from 3.8% in 2015 to 4.1% in 2016 with 92,300 residents.
This has prompted statistical expert Leong Sze Hian to ask “Is it due partly to Singaporeans losing their jobs with fierce competition from foreigners – and finding it hard to get re-employed?”