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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

  • Who is counted as employed?

    Employed persons refer to those who worked for pay, profit or family gains during the reference period.  They comprise employees and the self-employed.

    This definition excludes persons involved in activities without economic gain, e.g. own housework, voluntary work for religious, charitable and similar organizations.
  • How are employment data compiled?

    In Singapore, employment statistics are compiled from two major sources:

    imas Administrative records, where 
    imas local employee data are compiled from the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board’s administrative records,  
    imas data on foreigners working in Singapore are compiled from administrative records of foreigners on valid work passes issued by the Ministry of Manpower, and  
    imas self-employed data are estimated from the Labour Force Survey.​
    imas Comprehensive Labour Force Survey (LFS)

    Headline employment statistics on the number of persons in employment and its changes over time by industry are compiled from administrative records. For information on the demographic, social and other economic characteristics of employed persons, such as age, sex, educational attainment, you may refer to employment data from the Comprehensive LFS.
  • Who are considered part-timers?

    Part-time workers are employed persons who normally work less than 35 hours a week, while full-time workers are those who normally work at least 35 hours a week. We also collect information on part-timers who are seeking and available to work additional hours. They are known as the underemployed group. More information on employment by type of employment (full-time/part-time) and underemployment are available in the report on Labour Force in Singapore.
  • What is employment change?

    Employment change refers to the change in the number of persons who are in employment, derived by taking the difference in the employment level at the end of the reference period compared with the end of the preceding period. A positive change refers to the additional number of persons who are in employment, while a negative change refers to the decline in number of persons in employment. For example, if total employment in December 2010 and December 2011 are 3,105,900 and 3,228,500 respectively, then the employment change in 2011 is 3,228,500 – 3,105,900 = 122,600. In other words, there were 122,600 more persons in employment in December 2011 than a year ago.

    Conceptually, the change in employment over the reference period is the difference between people entering and exiting employment during the period. Users should not mistake an increase in employment as gross job creation.
  • With high employment growth, would unemployment decrease?

    While employment growth measures the additional number of persons in employment, unemployment measures the number of persons who are not in employment but are actively seeking and available for jobs. Unemployment can vary due to changes in demand or supply of manpower. Hence, high employment growth may not necessarily translate to lower unemployment.

    Unemployment can decline if more people succeed in finding jobs or if unemployed persons stop looking for a job and leave the labour force either temporarily (e.g. to take up training) or permanently (e.g. to retire). Conversely, unemployment may rise due to an increase in jobseekers (e.g. laid off workers, fresh graduates or re-entrants to the labour market) or if more people quit their jobs to look for alternative employment.​

Last updated on 05 December 2018 14:51:11
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