Real income growth highest since 2008

Real income growth highest since 2008

As inflation eased this year, Singapore saw the highest real income growth since 2008, according to a new Ministry of Manpower (MOM) report released Friday.

It also showed that in the current tight labour market, the proportion of locals in the workforce was now greater than before.

The numbers showed that in money terms, the median monthly income of Singaporeans and permanent residents rose 6.5 per cent this year to $3,705 - slightly slower than the corresponding 7.1 per cent rise in 2012.

But inflation was also higher in 2012, and pricier goods and services eroded more of a worker's wage increases then.

This is why, in real terms - after adjusting for inflation - workers' incomes went up more this year. The 3.9 per cent rise was not only higher than last year's 2.5 per cent, it was the highest increase since the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis.

In tandem with the rise in real incomes, more local residents sought jobs and found them.

A record 66.7 per cent of residents aged 15 and over were working or looking for work this year, and the employment rate of those aged 25 to 64 also rose to a high of 79 per cent.

Older workers fared well. Figures showed that the employment of residents aged 55 to 64 rose to 65 per cent, hitting the government target two years early.

In particular, more older women gained employment. The proportion is now more than half, up from 48 per cent last year.

National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How highlighted Friday that employment also rose for elderly workers aged 65 to 69.

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