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Employment in Singapore

Singapore, with total land area of 719.1 square kilometers, has total population of 5.535 millions as of 2015. The population consists of 3.902 millions of residents (Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents) and the remaining are non-residents.[1] The average population per square kilometers is 7,697, one of the most dense population in the world, third after Monaco and Macau[2]

Development and planning of Singapore workforce to achieve "globally competitive workforce in a sustainable manner" are done and under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Manpower (Singapore). Other aspects of employment related functions as International Talent Promotion, Labour Relations, Management of Foreign Manpower, Labour Welfare and Services, are also covered by the ministry.[3]


Employment DataEdit

Employment level in Singapore has been constantly on the rise year on year in the past decade, as reported in 2015.[4] Latest employment level as of 3rd quarter of 2015 was reported at 3.640 millions, with gains led by the Services sector. In the first three quarters of 2015, total employment level grew by 16,200.[5]

Unemployment DataEdit

The long-term unemployment rate for Singapore residents was 0.8 per cent as of March in 2017, up from 0.7 per cent a year earlier [6].


In a 2018 survey conducted jointly by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute, about 4.31% of the degree holders are drawing less than S$2,000 a month on a full-time job.[7]

Legislation, the Employment Act of SingaporeEdit

Basic terms and conditions of employers-employees relations in Singapore are covered by law in the Employment Act. All employees, both Singaporeans and foreigners, who enter into a contract of service with employers are covered by the act. There are however some exceptions for managers and executives, who are not covered by Part IV. Part IV of the acts provides for rest days, hours of work, annual leave and other conditions of service. For managers and executives, these conditions vary according to what is agreed in their individual employment contract.[8]

Working conditionEdit

According to a study conducted by recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley, an average worker in Singapore clocked 2371 hours in 2016, the longest hours in the world.[9]

Amid the tight labour market and on-going initiatives which support work-life harmony, the proportion of establishments which provided at least one formal flexible work arrangement (FWA) improved steadily from 38% in 2011 to 47% in 2014 [10].

Foreign competitionEdit

On 22 Jan 2018, Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ravi Menon gave a speech at an IPS conference advocating Singapore to employ more foreign PMETs. "The trend of improving quality in our foreign workforce has already begun," he said. "The proportion of work permit holders has declined by about 10 percentage points over last 10 years, while the proportion of S-Pass and employment pass holders has increased by around 10 percentage points."[11]

Compensation and BenefitsEdit

For any local employees (citizens and PRs) that you pay more than S$50 per month, you must fork over contributions to the CPF. You must shell out 16 percent and the employee must pay 20 percent [12].


External linksEdit