(Bloomberg) -- Singaporean paychecks failed to keep pace with inflation that stayed elevated this year, with a Ministry of Manpower report showing real incomes in 2023 fell from a year ago.
Real median wage, which takes inflation into account, fell 2.3% this year while real income for lower earners fell 3%, according to the ministry’s Labor Force in Singapore advance release on Thursday.
The data comes a week after the city-state reported that core inflation — which hit a 14-year high at the start of the year, quickened for the first time in nine months in October. Cost of living pressures continue to hit residents in Singapore where rentals remain high and even cheap hawker meals are disappearing, biting into salaries of residents even as nominal incomes rose.
Separately, the finance ministry said in a statement Thursday that property taxes for most residences are set to rise next year as a result of increased rents which influence calculations for the tax.
A one-off tiered rebate for all residential properties that are currently occupied by owners will be given “amidst concerns about cost-of-living.” Private properties will get a 15% discount capped at S$1,000 ($750), while public housing will get rebates ranging from 30%-100%.
Singapore’s all-items price inflation averaged 5.1% in the first 10 months of this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The labor force report also found that the city-state continued to have one of the highest employment rates compared to OECD countries despite a tight labor market that had the employment rate declining to 66.2% for residents aged 15 years-and-over.
Elsewhere, the non-professional jobless rate declined to 3.6% in 2023, while PMET — Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians — unemployment fell to 2.4%.
Economic headwinds are expected to continue to weigh on the job market going forward, the report said, adding that real income is expected to improve in 2024 given the expected easing in inflation.
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