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Date [ 2014-02-10, 06:15 ]

A brief look at the work situation last year.

Country to depend less on foreign workers.

(Singapore=Koreanpress) by Benjamin Kim = Unemployment stayed low and income growth of Singaporeans strengthened in 2013. Local employment rose more quickly in the year, as the growth in foreign workers continued to moderate amid tightened foreign manpower measures. These are the key findings from the “Employment Situation, 2013” report released by the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department.

Main Findings

Unemployment remained low in December 2013. Preliminary estimates showed that December 2013 overall and citizen unemployment rates were unchanged from September 2013.  These remained at 1.8% and 2.8% respectively. The resident unemployment rate edged up slightly by 0.1% to 2.7% in December 2013.

However for the whole of 2013, the annual average overall and citizen unemployment rates dipped to 1.9% and 2.9% respectively, while the resident rate remained unchanged at 2.8%.

Local employment rose more quickly, as the foreign workforce growth continued to moderate

Due to hirings for year-end festivities, employment growth for the fourth quarter of 2013 was at 39,200 and therefore lower than in the fourth quarter of last year which was at 44,000.

For the whole of 2013, total employment is estimated to have increased by 134,900 over the year, higher than the 129,100 in 2012. Higher employment growth over the year was mainly driven by locals, as the pace of growth in the foreign workforce continued to slow due in part to tighter foreign manpower restrictive measures.

In December 2013, locals accounted for 66.2% of persons employed in Singapore, with foreigners forming 33.8%. Foreign domestic workers were excluded from this tabulation.

Redundancies rose in the fourth quarter, but remained below recessionary Levels where 6 3,500 workers were laid off in the fourth quarter of 2013, higher than the 2,710 workers made redundant in preceding quarter.

For the full year 2013, 11,400 workers were laid off, slightly higher than 2012 which stood at 11,010.

Income growth strengthened amid the tight labour market. The nominal median monthly income from work of full-time employed citizens (including employer CPF contributions) increased over the year by 7.1% to S$3,480 in June 2013, up from gains of 5.8% in the preceding year.

As inflation eased, the growth in real median income, deflated by Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items, accelerated from 1.2% in 2012 to 4.6% in 2013.

The Consumer Price Index for all items rose over the year by 2.4% in 2013, lower than the increase of 4.6% in 2012.

abc@koreanpress.net

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