Singapore – Resident employment rate improves as labor market recovers, share of temporary workers increases


01 December 2021

The employment rate of residents aged 15 and over in Singapore fell from 64.5% in June 2020 to 67.2% in June 2021, after falling from 65.2% in June 2019, according to data from the Ministry of Manpower.

The improvement in the employment rate reflects the economic recovery and the impact of measures such as the SGUnited employment and skills package, the employment support program and the incentive for job growth in the labor market.

The employment rate of young people (aged 15 to 24) increased from 30.9% in June 2020 to 37.2% in June 2021. This is mainly due to the increase in the number of students in employment. part-time or temporary. The youth employment rate is lower than that of residents aged 25 to 64, as the majority of young people in Singapore are in education or training.

Among residents aged 25 to 64, the employment rate fell from 80.3% in June 2020 to 81.8% in June 2021. The improvement was observed for both men and women. It went from 87.9% to 88.9% for men and from 73.2% to 75.1% for women.

Supported by sustained efforts to increase the employability of seniors, such as the Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant, the employment rate of seniors aged 65 and over reached 28.5% in June of last year despite the recession, and continued to increase at a faster rate reaching 31.7% in June 2021.

The majority of resident employees were permanent employees (88%). An increase in the demand for temporary workers for activities related to Covid-19 and economic uncertainty led to a new record for the share of fixed-term contractors at 8.4%. This is an increase from 7.3% in June 2020, and driven by increases among residents with contracts of less than one year. However, the number of residents in permanent employment also increased by 50,900.

The unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) of non-PMET residents (non-professionals, executives, managers & technicians) fell from 6.4% in June 2020 to 5.1% in June 2021.

The unemployment rate of resident SMETs also fell slightly, from 3.5% to 3.4%.

However, these rates have not yet returned to pre-Covid-19 rates.

Long-term unemployment rates for residents remained stable at 0.8% for PMETs and 0.9% for non-PMETs after increasing last year. The high long-term unemployment rate compared to pre-Covid-19 suggests that some workers who were displaced earlier have encountered difficulties in their job search.

At the same time, the median nominal income of full-time employed residents increased in June 2021 (3.2%) after declining in June 2020 (-0.6%). After controlling for inflation, growth in median real income was weaker but remained positive at 1.1%, more than offsetting the 0.4% decline in 2020.