Incomes of PMETs rose at a faster pace this year with fewer left unemployed: MOM report

Resident professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) fared better this year in terms of unemployment and long-term unemployment rates when compared to 2016.

In its Comprehensive Labour Force Survey report released on Thursday (Nov 30), the Manpower Ministry (MOM) said that improved economic conditions and higher demand for skilled manpower also meant a quicker rise in real median income during the same period.

The survey was conducted between May and July this year and involved nearly 30,000 households comprising Singaporeans and permanent residents.

PMETs now make up 56% of working residents here, up from 49% in 2007.

The unemployment rate for PMETs fell slightly from 3.1% last year to 3% in 2017, after trending up from 2012. The long-term unemployment rate for them also improved from 0.9% last year to 0.7% this year.

MOM said this could have been aided by enhancements to Adapt & Grow programmes which help PMETs, especially those aged 40 and above, find jobs.

Resident workers in full-time jobs also earned more this year with the median monthly income – including employer Central Provident Fund contributions  – rising by 4.3% to $4,232 this year, higher than the 2.7% growth last year.

The real median monthly income rose by 3.7% this year from 3.3% last year, taking into account preliminary inflation figures.

Over the same period, the employment rate for those aged 15 and above dropped, reflecting population ageing and a higher propensity of youths to put off entering the workforce in order to pursue further education.

MOM noted that Singapore’s labour force participation rate (which is defined as the percentage of the labour force to the population) is already one of the highest compared with countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD includes countries such as the United States and Switzerland.

In order to maintain and strengthen this rate, MOM said: “We will need to press on with our efforts to allow older workers to remain in employment longer, and make available more flexible work arrangements, especially for those in caregiving responsibilities.”

A final report of the survey findings will be published in a report called the Labour Force in Singapore 2017 on Jan 26 next year.

The report which was released today can be read here.