Full employment, rising incomes in 2019
The labour market in 2019 held up despite economic headwinds:
- More residents were employed, including women and seniors.
- A larger proportion of our employed residents were professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs), with the share of PMETs among employed residents increasing from 54.3% in 2015 to 58.3% in 2019.
- Unemployment remained low, and most local workers affected by retrenchments found new jobs within six months.
- Employment incomes rose across the board, with annualised income growth for full-time employed residents increasing to 3.8% per annum over 2014 to 2019. Income at the 20th percentile rose faster than at the median, increasing to 4.4% per annum over the same period.
Read more: Economy and Labour Market
Quality jobs for our people
Singapore has been transforming our economy, jobs, and skills to create opportunities for all workforce segments and industries through the Industry Transformation Maps and various programmes.
These efforts have placed Singapore as the most globally competitive nation in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019.
From 2016 to 2019, over 100,000 jobseekers were placed in jobs through the Adapt and Grow (A&G) initiative:
- Over 14,500 mid-career jobseekers were reskilled to take on new jobs through Place-and-Train programmes, including Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP). Over nine in 10 PCP participants remained in employment two years after placement and around seven in 10 PCP participants earned higher salaries than before.
Ms Hidayah Binte Abu Bakar left her job in the electronics industry in 2018. After a four-month search, she found an opportunity at AETOS Holdings as an Auxiliary Police Officer through the A&G Professional Conversion Programme.
Hidayah is happy in her job as a frontline staff, enjoying a higher salary, and working with supportive colleagues.
Singaporeans looking to grow in their careers or to take on new job roles can take up training under SkillsFuture to stay resilient and competitive in a changing economic environment. Since 2017:
- More than 61,000 individuals have acquired digital literacy skills for work through SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace courses.
- More than 67,000 individuals have picked up priority and emerging skills through SkillsFuture Series courses.
The Government has also rolled out targeted training support for specific growth sectors to help workers take on newly created jobs in these sectors.
Read more: Education
Singapore continues to be an attractive place to do business. The Economic Development Board secured $15.2 billion of fixed asset investment commitments and $9.0 billion of total business expenditure commitments in 2019. When fully implemented, these projects will create about 33,000 new jobs in areas such as the digital economy, manufacturing and production, and innovation.
Read more: Economic Opportunities
Singaporeans assured of fair hiring and opportunities
Various initiatives are in place to ensure that all Singaporeans have fair access to job opportunities.
The Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) sets out requirements for all employers to consider all jobseekers fairly:
- Employers suspected of discriminatory hiring practices are placed on the FCF Watchlist and monitored for improvement in human resource practices.
- Since 2016, about 1,000 firms have been scrutinised under FCF. Over the same period, these firms hired over 4,400 Singaporean PMETs.
More has been done to help lower-wage workers gain better jobs and pay:
- More than 80,000 resident workers have benefited under the Progressive Wage Model, resulting in cumulative increases of around 30% in full-time workers’ real median gross monthly wages in the cleaning, security, and landscape sectors from 2014 to 2019. This outstrips the income growth of 21% for full-time median income resident workers.
- Lower-wage workers receive up to $4,000 per year in Workfare Income Supplement payouts, which top up their salaries and help them save for retirement. Between 2016 and 2020, $3.6 billion has been channelled to supplement their incomes.
- Over the same period, more than 200,000 lower-wage workers have benefited from over $400 million in subsidies via the Workfare Training Support (WTS) scheme.
Mr Syamsaini Ramli, aged 42, obtained a WSQ Certificate in Security Operations through WTS. He was promoted to Assistant Security Supervisor and received a 10% salary increment in 2019.
We are supporting Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) to maximise their potential:
- Three in 10 PwDs aged 15 to 64 years are in employment.
- Over 9,000 PwDs were supported through the Special Employment Credit (SEC) and Additional SEC in 2019, which provided employers of PwDs with wage offsets of up to 22%.
- More than 2,000 PwDs found new jobs through the A&G initiative from 2016 to 2019. The Open Door Programme (ODP), administered by SG Enable, helps PwDs enter suitable jobs and better integrate into the workplace. As at end 2019, over 3,000 PwDs have benefited from training courses.
David, who was diagnosed with mild retina pigmentosa (worsening of vision), tapped on the ODP Training Grant to prepare himself for a career as a call centre agent with Eureka Call Centre Systems. He credits ODP for providing support and resources in his job search journey, helping him to achieve his aspirations. David has since been recognised by his employer as a top performing call agent.
Read more: Social Safety Nets
Employment situation in 2020
In 2020, the Singapore labour market was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package was introduced to expand job, traineeship, and skills training opportunities. As at August 2020, 117,500 opportunities had been made available.
Jobs will remain our priority. We will continue to look out for lower-wage and mature workers, support upskilling, and ensure that Singaporeans have a fair chance at job opportunities.