Introduction 

Income from employment is a key indicator of economic well-being. There are various measures of income, each serving different data needs.

imas Gross Monthly Income From Work


Gross Monthly Income From Work is the widest measure of income from employment, covering both employees and the self-employed. For an indication of workers’ economic well-being or how much a typical worker in Singapore is earning, we look at the median income. This is the income of the worker in the middle of the income distribution, i.e. half of the workers earned more than this income and half, less.

While the growth in median income from work is a measurement of the progress in income of the employed pool as a whole, year-on-year income growth may fluctuate and should be examined alongside longer-term growth trends (e.g. 5 or 10 years). Changes in gross monthly income can also reflect the underlying changes in the mix of workers, e.g. entry and exit of workers and demographic profile. Hence, when determining how workers’ income has changed over time, it is also more meaningful to focus on the income growth among those in full-time employment. This will avoid clouding the income trends with the changing mix of full-timers and part-timers among employed persons, as part-time work involves shorter working hours and correspondingly lower income. Moreover, full-timers form the bulk of workers in Singapore.

Statistics on median income level and growth are collected from the Comprehensive Labour Force Survey and are published annually in the report on Labour Force in Singapore.

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Annual Wage Changes

If you are interested in wage increases that employers give over the year, then look at the Annual Wage Changes. This indicator provides a breakdown of changes in total wages into basic wages and bonuses and for three categories of employees, namely the rank-and-file, junior management and senior management.

The data refer to wage changes that employers give their full-time resident employees in continuous employment of at least one year.

Annual Wage Changes are obtained from the Survey on Annual Wage Changes and are published annually in the Report on Wage Practices. You can also compare your pay rise and bonus payouts against industry norms through Benchmarking Tools.

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Average (Mean) Monthly Earnings

Available quarterly, Average (Mean) Monthly Earnings (AME) provides a timely rough gauge of average wage movement. However, the AME can be influenced by the changing mix of full-time and part-time workers and variations in overtime as the data are compiled based on the payroll of contributors to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) which do not allow for breakdown separately to full-timers and part-timers.

Also, as AME pertains to mean earnings, it can be skewed upwards by a small number of very high income earners. For income of a typical worker, users should refer to the median Gross Monthly Income From Work and for wage growth of employees over a year they can refer to the Annual Wage Changes.

Data on AME for the latest two quarters are available in the National Summary Page section of the Singapore Department of Statistics' website. Annual and quarterly time series on AME are available in the Singapore Yearbook of Manpower Statistics published in June each year.

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Occupational Wages

If the interest is in wages of common occupations, we refer to the Occupational Wage Survey for the wages of over 300 occupations. Commonly used for salary benchmarking, the occupational wage data do not include bonuses, which are more closely linked to performances of the individual and establishment. Data on Occupational Wages pertain to full-time resident employees and are available in terms of monthly basic and gross wages (excluding bonuses).

The data are available in Occupational Wage Tables. You can also find out where your pay ranks within your occupation for your selected benchmark group through Benchmarking Tools.

imas Graduate Starting Salary

Data on starting salaries of the graduating cohorts from the local publicly-funded institutions of higher learning facilitate the comparison of starting salaries across various courses from the universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education. Collected through the Graduate Employment Surveys conducted by the various institutions of higher learning, monthly gross starting salary comprises the basic salary, fixed allowances, overtime pay and commissions, but does not include bonuses as the graduates generally would not have worked long enough to get bonus payouts. The data pertain to graduates in full-time permanent employment, including those on contracts of one year or more.

Data on graduate starting salary are available in Graduate Starting Salary Tables.