Looks like we might just end the year on a high. Besides a growth in our GDP, it seems like the labour force is seeing some good signs as well.
Figures from the annual report on Singapore’s Labour Force actually show the employment rates for residents aged 25 to 64 and 65 and over on the uptrend from June 2016 to June 2017.
That said, the employment rate for residents aged 15 to 24 actually declined.
However, the Manpower Ministry said the drop reflects the “higher propensity of youth to pursue further education and postpone entry into the labour force”.
Another good news from the report is the increase in real income growth. Median income rose faster year-on-year in June 2017 (3.7%, as compared to 3.3% in 2016). Real income growth for the 20th percentile of full-time employed residents grew faster than at the median. Real income growth for both groups were significantly faster than in the preceding five years.
The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for residents aged 15 and over declined slightly as a result of population ageing and a higher propensity of youths to postpone entry into the labour force. For residents aged 25 to 64 , the LFPR continued to increase reaching 83.6% in June 2017.
The report added that with a ageing population and the higher propensity of youth to postpone entry into the labour force, the local workforce growth is expected to slow further moving forward.
Focus on Productivity
This squares with what Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say said at the Singapore Productivity Awards Gala Dinner on 24 November 2017. He urged employers and companies to transform and grow to become more productive as Singapore becomes more manpower-lean.
Even MP Patrick Tay from the NTUC encouraged employers to raise productivity.
“Employers need to continue to raise productivity by embracing technology and innovation and share the gains from productivity with workers to motivate them. They must also create inclusive workplaces through hiring more mid-career and mature workers, especially PMETs, and embrace flexible work and workplaces to support the hiring of women who wish to return to work. In addition, they must encourage and support worker training and skills upgrading so that they can keep abreast of the changes.”