SINGAPORE (Nov 28): Real median income growth of full-time employed residents in Singapore has slowed to 2.2% in 2019, falling sharply from the 4.4% growth recorded in 2018, according to an advance labour force report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday.

However, MOM noted that real median income growth averaged 3.8% per annum over the last five years from 2014 to 2019, higher than the 1.9% per annum growth in the preceding five years.

At the same time, resident unemployment rate edged up to 3.1% in June 2019, from 2.9% a year ago.

“Overall, the resident unemployment rate remained low in June 2019,” MOM said in a press release. “Despite economic headwinds, the resident employment rate was higher in June 2019 than a year ago.”

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, unemployment rate for Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) held steady at 2.9% in June 2019, the report said.

PMETs’ long-term unemployment rate fell to 0.6%, from 0.8% a year ago, with more taking up roles in PMET-concentrated sectors including information & communications, financial & insurance services, and professional services.

Overall, the report found that employment rate for residents aged 25 to 64 improved to 80.8% in June 2019, from 80.3% a year ago.

“Notwithstanding increasing economic headwinds, resident employment continued to grow from a year ago,” MOM said.

“However, the unemployment situation is uneven, affecting non-PMETs more than PMETs. The increase in the number of employees on fixed-term contracts also suggests cautious hiring,” it added.

MOM and Workforce Singapore (WSG) say they are closely monitoring the labour market, and stand ready to step up employment support for Singaporeans.