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Uses and Limitations

Available quarterly, Average (Mean) Monthly Earnings provides a timely rough gauge of average wage movement.

As the data do not allow breakdown separately to full-time and part-time employees, the Average (Mean) Monthly Earnings can be influenced by the changing mix of full-time and part-time employees, variations in overtime and wages of new entrants and employees who changed jobs during the year. Hence, the change in Average (Mean) Monthly Earnings may not represent accurately the change in wage rates. A better source for this is the Survey on Annual Wage Changes which captures annual changes in basic wages, bonuses and total wages of full-time resident employees in continuous employment of one year. Data on Annual Wage Changes are published in the Report on Wage Practices.

As Average (Mean) Monthly Earnings 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 published in the report on Labour Force in Singapore.

Average (Mean) Monthly Earnings does not represent total labour costs to employers as it does not take into account non-wage costs e.g. cost of training, medical benefits and statutory levies on payroll. Data on labour cost are available from the quadrennial Labour Cost Survey, published in the Singapore Yearbook of Manpower Statistics.