Singapore's total wage growth back to pre-pandemic levels

SINGAPORE: In 2021, Singapore's total wage growth, including Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions from employers, was 3.9% for employees who had been with the same employer for at least one year.

The Singaporean Manpower Ministry (MOM) reported that after a year of wage moderation in 2020, more companies decided to boost their employees' pay in 2021 as a result of Singapore's robust economic recovery and a competitive labour market.

“As a result, more employees received wage increases last year, and wages also grew at a faster pace than in 2020," MOM said.

While overall pay growth in 2021 returned to 2019 levels, it was lower than in 2010, indicating that businesses were "more cautious given the longer tail" of the epidemic, according to MOM.

Real pay growth in 2021 was just 1.6%, barely above the 1.4% recorded in 2020 and less than half of the 3.3% in 2019, thanks in part to global inflation.

While MOM warned that international conflicts and lengthy supply disruptions might slow demand and nominal wage growth this year, it anticipates that the tight labour market would sustain continuing nominal wage rise.

Inflation is expected to remain high this year and restrain real wage growth as a result of recent shocks to the global supply chain, MOM noted.

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