Employment Situation, 2011
- Supported by strong employment creation, the unemployment rate declined to a 14-year low in 2011. The median income of Singaporeans has increased, amid the tight labour market. Even for low-income Singaporeans at the 20th percentile, real income has grown over the last five years. These are the key findings from the "Employment Situation, 2011" report released by the Ministry of Manpower's Research and Statistics Department.
- Employment growth remained strong in 2011. Preliminary estimates show that total employment grew by 36,300 in the fourth quarter of 2011, bringing growth in the whole of 2011 to 121,300, slightly higher than the gains of 115,900 in 2010. The bulk of the employment gains continued to come from services, which added 95,100 workers in 2011. This was lower than the increase of 112,600 in 2010. Boosted by public projects, construction employment rose by 22,200 in 2011, much higher than the 2010 gains of 3,400. Manufacturing employment grew by 2,900, as gains totalling 4,800 in the first three quarters offset the losses of 1,900 in the fourth quarter.
- With slower resident population growth and most economically active residents already employed, local employment grew by 36,600 in 2011, after increasing by 56,200 in 2010. In response to strong manpower demand, foreign employment (excluding foreign domestic workers) grew by 79,800 in 2011, after increasing by 54,400 in 2010.
- As at December 2011, locals accounted for 67.2% of persons employed in Singapore (excluding foreign domestic workers). Foreigners formed the remaining 32.8%, up from 31.4% in December 2010.
- Layoffs increased substantially in the fourth quarter, resulting in a slightly higher number of workers affected in the whole year than in 2010. Based on preliminary estimates, 3,600 workers were made redundant in the fourth quarter of 20111. This was substantially higher than the 1,960 laid off in the preceding quarter. For the full year of 2011, an estimated 10,400 workers were made redundant, slightly higher than the 9,800 in 2010.
- Amid the strong employment creation, the unemployment rate in December 2011 was unchanged from a quarter ago at 2.0% overall, 2.9% for residents and 3.0% for Singapore citizens. For the whole of 2011, the unemployment rate averaged 2.0% overall, 2.9% for residents and 3.0% for Singapore citizens. These rates were the lowest recorded in 14 years, after declining from 2.2% for overall, 3.1% for residents and 3.4% for Singapore citizens in 2010.
- The median income of Singaporeans rose, amid the tight labour market. Among Singapore citizens in full-time employment, the median monthly income from work2 rose by 6.3% over the year to $3,070 in June 2011. This came after growth of 5.1% in 2010. After adjusting for inflation, the real income growth was 1.0% in 2011, following the 2.2% growth in 2010. Cumulatively over the last five years, the median income from work of full-time employed Singapore citizens rose in real terms by 13% or 2.5% p.a. Even for low-income Singaporeans at the 20th percentile, real income grew over the last five years by 11% or 2.2% p.a.
For More Information
- The "Employment Situation, 2011" report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower's website. More comprehensive labour market data will be released in the "Labour Market Report, 2011" on 15 March 2012.
1 Data pertain to private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees and the public sector.
2 In this analysis, income from work includes employer CPF contributions for employees.