Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has just released its Employment Situation 2012 report. The report outlines Singapore’s labor performance in 2012 along several categories including local and foreign employment as well unemployment, layoffs and income.
According to the report, total employment has increased by 129,600 in 2012, representing an increase of 7,000 hires year-on-year (y-o-y). However, without construction and foreign domestic workers (FDWs), the increase in total employment was 87,200 in 2012, representing a y-o-y decline of 8,400 hires.
LOCAL AND FOREIGN EMPLOYMENT
Local employment figures soared by 21,300 y-o-y, from 37,900 hires in 2011 to 59,200 hires in 2012. On the other hand, the number of foreign hires fell from 84,800 in 2011 to 70,400 in 2012. Without FDWs and construction workers, the number of foreign hires almost halved, from 60,200 to 32,200 hires only.
On the bright side, Singapore’s new economic priorities, as laid out in the Population White Paper, will see the number of Singaporean PMETs increase almost two-fold to 1.25 million in 2030. This spells good news for local PMETs who want better jobs as well as salaries and companies that want to tap Singapore’s pool of skilled workforce.
In addition, as of December 2012, and excluding FDWs, Singaporeans formed the core workforce of the country (66.4%). There was a slight y-o-y increase of 0.8% in the proportion of foreign workers nonetheless, registering 33.6%, as of December 2012.
Analysis by Singapore company formation specialist Rikvin shows that the significant dip in the hiring of foreign workers reflects the enforcement of more stringent Singapore work visa regulations over the past year.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AND LAYOFFS
2012’s average unemployment rate was unchanged from 2011 i.e. 2.0% for overall and 3.0% for citizens. Resident unemployment rate, however, fell slightly y-o-y from 2.9% to 2.8%.
In 2012, 11,000 workers were made redundant, representing 1,100 more than 2011. Analysis by Rikvin shows that the services sector contributed to the bulk of the redundancies in 2012, increasing by 1,970 headcounts y-o-y.
In 2012, the average monthly salary of full-time employed citizens, including employer Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions, rose to $3,248. This represents an increase of 5.8%, which in turn means that it is slightly lower than 2011’s growth rate i.e. 6.3%. However, in light of inflation, the real median income growth was 1.2% in 2012, a slight increase from 1.0% in 2011.
In response to the results, Ms. Christine Lim, General Manager of Rikvin said, “These figures reflect that, true to last year’s Budget aims, the criteria for applying for as well as the process of approving Singapore employment passes have gotten more stringent and complex. This in turn results in a tighter pool of labour, which then drives median wages up. The higher number of layoffs, attributed by the services sector, also reflect the shakiness of last year’s global economy.”
“On the bright side, Singapore’s new economic priorities, as laid out in the Population White Paper, will see the number of Singaporean PMETs increase almost two-fold to 1.25 million in 2030. This spells good news for local PMETs who want better jobs as well as salaries and companies that want to tap Singapore’s pool of skilled workforce. Meanwhile, the imperative to move up the value chain cannot be understated for those who still want to remain competitive in Singapore. In spite of these challenges, we anticipate Singapore company incorporation activity to continue this year on account of the country’s strong fundamental offerings.”