Un­em­ploy­ment up, but me­dian wage rises

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - International Business -

THE lat­est Min­istry of Man­power (MOM) re­port on the labour mar­ket con­di­tions painted a mixed pic­ture, with res­i­dent un­em­ploy­ment rate creep­ing up to a seven-year high, but real me­dian mon­thy in­come ris­ing at a faster pace com­pared to last year.

In its 2017 ad­vance labour force re­port re­leased on Thurs­day (Nov 30), the min­istry also noted the de­cline in the em­ploy­ment rate for res­i­dents aged be­tween 15 and 24 years old, due to “higher propen­sity of youths to post­pone en­try into the labour force” as more opt to pur­sue fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion.

The labour force par­tic­i­pa­tion rate (LFPR) for res­i­dents aged 15 and above de­clined slightly from 68 per cent in June last year to 67.7 per cent in June this year, “fol­low­ing sus­tained in­creases over the decade”, MOM said.

Among res­i­dents aged 25 to 64, the LFPR con­tin­ued to in­crease, reach­ing 83.6 per cent in June this year. “How­ever, the dip in over­all LFPR did not re­flect an in­crease in the num­ber of dis­cour­aged work­ers, which fell slightly from 9,900 in June 2016 to 9,500 in June 2017, and stayed low at 0.4 per cent of the res­i­dent labour force since June 2013,” MOM said. Dis­cour­aged work­ers re­fer to those out­side the labour force who are not look­ing for a job be­cause they be­lieve their job search will not yield re­sults.

Em­ploy­ment rate from res­i­dents aged 25 to 64 con­tin­ued to in­crease from 80.3 per cent in June last year to 80.7 per cent in June this year. Over the same pe­riod, over­all res­i­dent un­em­ploy­ment rate, on a sea­son­ally ad­justed ba­sis, rose from 3 per cent to 3.1 per cent, match­ing a high in 2007 and 2010.

Nev­er­the­less, real in­come rose faster over the same pe­riod given the im­prove­ment in eco­nomic con­di­tions, MOM noted. Real in­come growth for both the me­dian and 20th per­centile were also sig­nif­i­cantly faster in the five years end­ing June 2017, com­pared to the pre­ced­ing five-year pe­riod.

The nom­i­nal me­dian monthly in­come (in­clud­ing em­ployer CPF con­tri­bu­tions) of full-time em­ployed res­i­dents in­creased by 4.3 per cent to S$4,232 in June 2017. The in­crease was 3.7 per cent af­ter fac­tor­ing in in­fla­tion, higher than 3.3 per cent in June last year.

The find­ings of the re­port are based on a com­pre­hen­sive labour force sur­vey con­ducted in the middle of this year, which re­ceived re­sponses from al­most 28,000 house­holds. The full re­port will be re­leased in on Jan 26.

MOM said: “While the em­ploy­ment rates for res­i­dents aged 25 to 64 and 65 and over con­tinue to in­crease, we ex­pect pop­u­la­tion age­ing and the higher propen­sity of youths to post­pone en­try into the labour force to ex­ert down­ward pres­sure on the over­all em­ploy­ment rate in the years ahead.”

Adding that lo­cal work­force growth is ex­pected to con­tinue to slow fur­ther, the min­istry said the dip in the PMET (pro­fes­sion­als, man­agers, ex­ec­u­tives and tech­ni­cians) long-term un­em­ploy­ment rate sug­gested that more lo­cals are re-skilling to take on new jobs or switch ca­reers as the econ­omy re­struc­tures, “with Govern­ment sup­port through Skills­fu­ture and the Adapt & Grow ini­tia­tive”.

MOM added: “For real in­come growth to be sus­tained, firms will have to con­tinue to trans­form and grow to be­come more pro­duc­tive. In a man­power-lean en­vi­ron­ment, it is also im­por­tant for firms to adopt pro­gres­sive hu­man cap­i­tal prac­tices.” – TO­DAY

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