Chan Chun Sing said in parliament that Singaporeans have good jobs – but do they?

The US Private Sector Job Quality Index released in November last month looks at the level of quality of jobs. In the index, “high quality” jobs are jobs “that pay more than the average weekly wage and tend to have more hours per week,” and the “low quality” ones are those that “pay less [than average wage] and offer fewer hours”.

If we look at Singapore’s context, the average monthly wage last year was S$5,183.

And when we look at the proportion of workers earning less than S$5,000, there were 66.6% earning less than S$5,000 (or “low-quality” jobs, according to the Job Quality Index). And there were 33.4% of workers who earned more than S$5,000 (or “high-quality” jobs). This means that for every 100 low-quality jobs, there were only 50 high-quality jobs.

In the US, for every 100 low-quality jobs, there are 82 high-quality jobs. And according to the report, this is already one of the worst. Therefore, Singapore’s 50 high-quality jobs to 100 low-quality jobs means that Singapore’s situation is much worse than the US, which is already at one of its lowest point.

Next, there are only three job sectors in Singapore where there is a minimum wage – in the cleaning, security and landscape sectors.

Security officers earn the lowest wages among these three sectors, with a minimum wage of S$1,175. Compared to Singapore’s average wage, security officers earn only 22.7% of the average wage. And compared to the median wage of a full-time worker of S$3,800, security officers earn only 30.9% of the median wage.

When you compare with the OECD group of countries, Singapore performs worse than all of them.

In comparison, in the best performing country, France, workers on minimum wage earn 50% of average wage and 62% of median wage. To put this in context, if Singaporeans are earning more equal wages like in France, security officers in Singapore should be earning about S$2,590 (when compared to average wage) or S$2,356 (when compared to median wage).

Therefore, Singapore’s security officers are only earning 45% to 50% of what they should be earning, when compared with France. However, note that there are still workers in Singapore who earn less than security officers, which mean that their situation is much worse.

Lastly, in a study led by Assistant Professor Ng Kok Hoe of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, it was found that single elderly Singaporeans 65 years old and older would require S$1,379 to have a basic standard of living, and for single elderly Singaporeans aged 55 to 64, they would require S$1,721.

The researchers explained that “elderly people have simpler needs for household durables and supplies,” which therefore explains the lower amount required for a basic standard of living for elderly Singaporeans aged 65 years old and older.

This would mean that Singaporeans younger than 55 would require more for a basic standard of living. If we assume that this would be another S$300 in difference (the difference between elderly aged 65 and above and aged 55-64 is S$342), a possible amount required for Singaporeans younger than 55 to have a basic standard of living would be about S$2,000.

However, there are still 25% of workers who earn less than S$2,000, or in other words, there could be about 25% of Singapore’s workers who are earning poverty wages.

Again, when comparing with the OECD group of countries, Singapore also compares the worst.

According to the OECD, the poverty rate is calculated as the “percentage of persons living with less than 50% of median disposable income”. In Singapore, the poverty rate would refer to those earning less than S$1,900 (half of the median income of S$3,800).

Among the OECD countries, again the US performs the worst at 17.8%, followed by Israel at 17.7%, but even then, they are still better than Singapore’s 25%. Japan and South Korea also performs better than Singapore, at 15.7% and 13.8%.

Note that the PAP government likes to champion that Singapore has a higher GDP per capita than much of the world. And indeed, Singapore has a GDP on par with the US, Denmark, and Iceland, and even higher than Finland, Japan and South Korea, as well as most of the other OECD countries.

So, the question then is, if Singapore is so rich, why are Singaporeans so poor when we use all these various metrics to compare Singapore with the other advanced economies? In fact, why are Singaporeans the poorest? As such, when Chan Chun Sing says Singaporeans have good jobs and earn high wages, is this true?

I am sorry, it is not.

 

Roy Ngerng

 

 

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25 Responses to “Chan Chun Sing said in parliament that Singaporeans have good jobs – but do they?”

  • English Masturbation:

    Who is the arbiter of truth?
    What does it mean by singaporeans have good jobs? What are good jobs? How many singaporeans does he mean?

    So english is a language is an art.

    You can say anything anyhow you like but it does not mean you are right unless you give yourself the power to be the arbiter of truth. Thats the end of democracy.

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  • Chan Cant Sing:

    Whenever an Instant Millionaire (at the expense of Singapore Taxpayers) says Singaporeans have good jobs, they are actually referring to themselves. These are professional politicians.

    Everyone knows what professional politicians, especially career politicians, have to be good in.

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  • Harder Truths:

    It is not how much they should be earning based on an ‘average’ income – it is purchasing power that is important. How much is actually needed to run a household?

    A simple example. From OECD figures:

    Average wages in 1992 : $2000
    Average wages in 2019 : $6000
    Increase of 3 x income between 1992 – 2019

    Money in circulation (M2) in 1992 : $ 100 trillion
    Money in circulation (M2) in 1992 : $ 600 trillion
    Increase of 6 x money (M2) supply between 1992 – 2019 is an inflation indicator (not the CPI which is a fake measurement)

    Very roughly your $1.00 in 1992 is worth about 3/6*$1.00 = $0.50 in 2019

    Plus don’t forget taxes on your $0.50!!

    So tell me – do you feel better off now?

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  • Facts for smart dumbwits:

    Societal Income Disparity here is so bad that Oxfam has listed Singapore a low 49th ranking out of 57 countries evaluated. It’s all the wrong things sagacious economics professors teach you never to do: institutionalised businessmen-politicians; public funds managements (Temasek, GIC, CPF) totally opaque to the citizenry; a trickle-down virtually regulation free political-economy (Singapore is the second most free economy in the world behind HK); no socially guaranteed minimum wage in the world’s most inflated cost of living. Transparency and accountability are merely textbook terms in this pseudo republic cronyland.

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  • Asd:

    Parliment is a place to review data and facts or a place to ask for trust ?

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  • oxygen:

    @ Roy Ngerng

    SINGAPORE’S SI FOREIGN DOMINATED, so most of the GDP economic gains naturally flow back to foreign supplier of risk capital, entrepreneurship and technology.

    Lim HK, former trade and industry minister said it correctly – we can’t be a first world economy paying third world wages.

    This is the reason.

    Roy : Note that the PAP government likes to champion that Singapore has a higher GDP per capita than much of the world. And indeed, Singapore has a GDP on par with the US, Denmark, and Iceland, and even higher than Finland, Japan and South Korea, as well as most of the other OECD countries.

    So, the question then is, if Singapore is so rich, why are Singaporeans so poor when we use all these various metrics to compare Singapore with the other advanced economies? In fact, why are Singaporeans the poorest? As such, when Chan Chun Sing says Singaporeans have good jobs and earn high wages, is this true?

    I am sorry, it is not/blockquote>

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  • oxygen:

    Ooop typo error there, sorry

    oxygen: SINGAPORE’S SI FOREIGN DOMINATED,

    should be read as

    oxygen: SINGAPORE’S ECONOMY IS FOREIGN DOMINATED,

    WE PRACTICALLY HAVE NO DOMESTIC ECONOMIC PILLAR.

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  • Realistically:

    Again people failed to call out Chan Chun Sing because he specifically FAILED to address the issue of CECA………….I pointed this out when Chan first made his comments a few months ago.

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  • PCK:

    @CCS – in the Army we call your nonsense as “Talk Cork Sing Song”

    As an Ex-Paper General it applies to you to very well !

    Your presence in Parliament itself is a disaster for Singapore politics and an insult to our forefathers who built this country.

    Please refrain from saying anything; Singaporeans are feeling insulted by your comments or questions.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    More bullshit (fake news) from Cross-Subsidy Chan. True, some Singaporeans have good jobs but equally true is more and more of them are losing their job to foreigners because of PAP’s pro-alien policies like exemption from CPF contributions. The latter makes them cheaper to hire than foreigners. This CANNOT be fixed by more training for Singaporeans because there will always be a cheaper equally (or better) trained foreigner. That is why I am voting for REGIME CHANGE and telling my family members and friends to do the same.

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  • Homeless Cat:

    Dear failed and overpaid ministers,

    You lie. F*** you.

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  • 4G strings:

    Back in 2011, kee chiu sheepishly asked an auntie where she came from in a rally.

    Poor lady quickly covered her free packet of chicken rice in case kee chiu wanted to snatch it away.

    Really pathetic to see this chap of such low calibre now beating around the Bush in pariahment.

    Kee chiu and bug eye heng are washouts for our future.

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  • mike:

    @ Harder Truths

    Bro, i’m totally with you. We have very weak purchasing power. The cost of living is much higher than what earning can cover by the majority. This is despite the fact that SGD is exceptionally stronger than many other nations in recent decade. Artificially or not we can all go guess.

    In contrast to many other 1st world nations with weaker currency, the purchasing power is intact and things more affordable. Seriously me no clue why. So funny one.

    Harder Truths:
    It is not how much they should be earning based on an ‘average’ income – it is purchasing power that is important. How much is actually needed to run a household?

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  • mike:

    Another thing, average wage is a manipulative method of calculation. We can have a few folks who make few hundred thousands a week to skew the figure upwards. And how much of these figures includes local vs foreigners? Includes temporary, part-timers, construction foreign workers etc… is a secret formula. Of coz someone will just say that “it is according to standard international calculation method”

    Releasing and using average wage is just most manipulative. A bit fairer approach is to also release median wage to compare the gap between average vs medium in understanding how “cleaned” or “uncleaned” the data applied was.

    Therefore, the official figures are traditionally much massaged to justify certain agenda.

    :
    Average wages in 1992 : $2000
    Average wages in 2019 : $6000
    Increase of 3 x income between 1992 – 2019

    Money in circulation (M2) in 1992 : $ 100 trillion
    Money in circulation (M2) in 1992 : $ 600 trillion
    Increase of 6 x money (M2) supply between 1992 – 2019 is an inflation indicator (not the CPI which is a fake measurement)

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  • Bobo:

    Seems like Hougang SMC and Aljunied GRC people are more intellegent to vote in WP who have been risking themselves to speak up for them.

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  • Seek the truth:

    Who is this chee hong who is licking Kee chiu’ s little balls?

    Can’t stand these two clowns’ arrogant and c*cky faces.

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  • Harder Truths:

    mike:
    Another thing, average wage is a manipulative method of calculation. We can have a few folks who make few hundred thousands a week to skew the figure upwards. And how much of these figures includes local vs foreigners? Includes temporary, part-timers, construction foreign workers etc… is a secret formula. Of coz someone will just say that “it is according to standard international calculation method”

    Releasing and using average wage is just most manipulative. A bit fairer approach is to also release median wage to compare the gap between average vs medium in understanding how “cleaned” or “uncleaned” the data applied was.

    Therefore, the official figures are traditionally much massaged to justify certain agenda.

    The average wage does not mean much unless it is compared to the cost of living (i.e. purchasing power). By itself it means very little as there is no means to justify its adequacy.

    Infinite cheap foreign labour depress wages. Inflation and taxation reduce purchasing power. The ‘average wage’ in 2019 can (at best)purchase only half of what could be purchased in 1992.

    CPI is a fraud. It is used to justify that we are better off. Can anyone see that as the reality? But if you say otherwise that is ‘fake news’ and punishable.

    We are not taught in schools or even in universities such things as Keynesian monetary policy, free market systems, Central Bank inflationary techniques, currency devaluation and other REAL WORLD economics – precisely to make sure we never understand how badly we are being screwed.

    All we learn is supply and demand – this means nothing.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Seek the truth:
    Who is this chee hong who is licking Kee chiu’ s little balls?

    Can’t stand these two clowns’ arrogant and c*cky faces.

    That’s why we cannot have all-PAP parliament. Every PAP’s MP and Minister sing the same PAP’s song.

    We need non-PAP MPs in parliament to sing the National Anthem for the people and accomplish our pledge.

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  • Useless 4Gs:

    NotMyProblem: That’s why we cannot have all-PAP parliament. Every PAP’s MP and Minister sing the same PAP’s song.

    We need non-PAP MPs in parliament to sing the National Anthem for the people and accomplish our pledge.

    What happens to the new version of the national anthem that sounds like a funeral send off?

    Where is that huge nose disGrace who introduced this change? Gone into sewage hole?

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  • No need save singkies:

    Harder Truths:
    It is not how much they should be earning based on an ‘average’ income – it is purchasing power that is important. How much is actually needed to run a household?

    A simple example. From OECD figures:

    Average wages in 1992 : $2000
    Average wages in 2019 : $6000
    Increase of 3 x income between 1992 – 2019

    Money in circulation (M2) in 1992 : $ 100 trillion
    Money in circulation (M2) in 1992 : $ 600 trillion
    Increase of 6 x money (M2) supply between 1992 – 2019 is an inflation indicator (not the CPI which is a fake measurement)

    Very roughly your $1.00 in 1992 is worth about 3/6*$1.00 = $0.50 in 2019

    Plus don’t forget taxes on your $0.50!!

    So tell me – do you feel better off now?

    But the stats given to you cannot be proven.

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  • Guess:

    Any guesses / predictions on Taiwan election ?

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  • Small Boy Minister:

    Looks like a small boy.
    Speaks like a small boy.
    Behaves like a small boy.
    Thinks like a small boy.
    Acts like a small boy.
    How the hell such a character can be selected to become an Army General and then a Minister? I was totally surprised and baffled until now.
    How can you win my respect?

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  • Harder Truths:

    No need save singkies: But the stats given to you cannot be proven

    Go to the OECD website – all the data is there. Anyone can learn monetary inflation economics. This is not 1965. We have the internet. Or this simpler one.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/singapore/money-supply-m2

    Do your own work and come to your own conclusions. If you want to believe the pappies you can do so – I don’t really care.

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  • TruBlu:

    YA,$tinkies like Kee Chiu undeniably have cushy job$.
    Just by shaking legs and talking cock,they get paid million$?

    Their wives too get hugely paid running GLCs while losing money buying too big to fail foreign banks for instance.

    But the best jobs go to sgs like that old bended lady picking up cardboard litter for a meagre living or that old man shuffling his weak legs cleaning toilets???

    Well done,Ah Chan for your great FAKE NEWS… lies…
    Dont worry,you wont get POFMA.

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