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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Monday, December 31, 2012

How I'm spending the last few hours of 2012: the Singapore Workforce (2012)

"It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like." - Jackie Mason


I must be one of the few people fascinated by the MOM report on the Singapore Workforce (2012).

Some choice bits:
- 74% of women between 25 and 54 worked (vs 92.7% for men)
- The total employment rate for 55-64 is a whole 19% lower than for 25-54. Women evidence a larger decline than men
- 11.5% of resident employees were on term contract and this has been quite steady since 2006
- Despite what you might be lead to believe by (no, not a trans-gender site), PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives & Technicians) have quite a low unemployment rate (2.3% vs 3.4% total)
- The industry with the lowest unemployment is Real Estate (1.6% vs 3.4% total)
- As long as you work for 1 hour in the week, you are considered employed

And the most interesting part (the reason why I started reading the report in the first place) is on economic inactivity.

A plurality of men (44.5%) who are not economically active are in school, on course or training.

43.3% of women residents say that they are economically inactive because of family responsibilities (including "housework, childcare and care-giving to families/relatives"). Unfortunately there is no breakdown of this, as those who give the first reason only are either very finicky about cleanliness or are just using it as an excuse.

Meanwhile, I have heard of many cases (I've lost count) of girls leaving the workforce (many in their 20s!) to "take a break" (or otherwise - being NEET), but only 3 cases of guys doing the same thing: one could say that he was studying for his CFA, another was (is) traveling the world and a third was sick of Mammon.

However, the gender gap in the data is much less than these anecdotes would suggest: 14,600 men and 16,000 women (of course, some will give "housework" as the reason for economic inactivity). Ironically I've been looking for this kind of data for a long time, when all along MOM had it.

There are also more discouraged men than women (5,500 vs 4,100). This could be because of social expectations that men be the breadwinners - so when they are unable to find work, women are not discouraged.
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