Employment in Singapore rose for second consecutive year

While real median income increased from 2021, growth was tempered by the continuing impact of high inflation.
By: | December 2, 2022

The employment rate for Singapore residents aged 15 and above rose for the second consecutive year to reach 67.5% in 2022, 2.3% higher than the rate in 2019, the annual Labour Force Singapore report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has revealed.

Unemployment rates also fell for employees across occupations in 2022 compared to 2021. Among PMETs, the unemployment rate fell from 3.4% to 2.6% while for non-PMETs, the unemployment rate fell from 5.1% to 4.4%.

Where the long-term unemployment rate is concerned, the rate fell from 0.8% to 0.5% for PMETs and 0.9% to 0.7% for non-PMETs. MOM defines long-term unemployment individuals as those aged 15 and older who have been unemployed for 25 weeks or more.

Employees in Singapore also earned more in 2022, with real median income growth improving from 0.9% in 2021 to 2.1% in 2022, as strong nominal income growth outstripped higher inflation. “However, real media income growth in 2022 was still lower than that in the years preceding the pandemic, when inflation was lower,” MOM said.

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The ministry also reported that tripartite initiatives such as the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) helped to boost income growth for lower-wage workers and urged employers to use support from the government to accelerate firm-level productivity improvements to ensure wage increases remain sustainable in the long term.