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gender equality

More women, older residents now comprise Singapore’s workforce

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With gender equality being a hot topic among employers this year, it seems Singapore’s workforce is making improvements in this area.

According to a new employment report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the resident labour force participation rate for women has seen a significant increase this year, continuing its upward trend from 2006.

Overall, the resident labour force participation rate (LFPR) has increased for the fourth year in a row to 68.3% in 2015.

The report shows that the LFPR of women trended upwards from 54.3% in 2006 to 60.4% in 2015.

This increase in the number of women staying or entering the workforce is thought to be a result of “greater availability of flexible work arrangements for better work-life integration,” the report stated.

At the same time, in line with the continued tripartite efforts to enhance the employability of older workers, the LFPR for older residents (55 to 64 years old) rose significantly from 56.3% in 2006 to 69.5% in 2015.

For those aged 65 to 69, it rose from 25.3% to 42.2% over 2006 up till 2015, with the bulk of the gains coming between 2006 to 2012.

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Similar increases were seen in the employment rate of residents aged 25 to 64, rising to 80.5% in June 2015 from 79.7% in June 2014, with help from strong employment gains in the second half of 2014.

Though at a more moderate pace compared to previous years, this upward trend was also observed in the employment rate for women aged 25 to 54 (77.1%) and 55 to 64 (54.2%).

The employment rate for men on the other hand, has seen a largely flat trend, rising from 92.2% in 2014 to 92.9% in 2015 for those aged 25 to 54.

From 2012 to 2015, the employment rate of older men (55 to 64 years old) however rose from 79.7% to, moderating significantly after its rise from 71.3% in 2006 to 79.7% in 2012.

With an increasing employment rate, unemployment remained low in June 2015, decreasing over the year for residents aged 25 to 29 and in their 30s and 40s.

However, amid slower employment growth in the first half of 2015, the unemployment rate rose over the year for older residents aged 50 and over, as well as for non-degree holders.

The report also found a strong growth in median income in 2015 amid a tight labour market.

The nominal median monthly income of full-time employed residents (including employer CPF contributions) rose by 4.7% over the year to $3,949 in June 2015, or 5.4% after adjusting for negative inflation.

Image: Shutterstock

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