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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 12 February 2007

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Key Household Income Trends 2006



Lowest 10 per cent of employed households experienced reversal from decline since Asian Financial Crisis

An Occasional Paper released by the Singapore Department of Statistics today on ¡®Key Household Income Trends, 2006¡¯ found that sustained economic growth boosted household income growth among Singapore resident households in 2006.
Among employed households (i.e. households with at least one working person), average monthly household income from work1 grew by 4.3 per cent in 2006 to reach $6,260.
After adjusting for inflation, employed households enjoyed real income growth of 3.2 per cent in 2006.
The expanding economy and improving labour market have benefited all income groups. Employed households across the board experienced an increase in income per household member in real terms.
For the lowest 10% of employed households, this was a reversal from the decline experienced since 1997.
The strong pickup in income per household member among the lower-income employed households has taken place even though individual wages among lower-income workers have generally remained stagnant.
This apparent discrepancy can be explained by two factors:
First, there has been an increase in the number of working persons in the lower-income employed households, with more of them being able to find jobs in a growing economy.
Second, there has been a reduction in household sizes over a year ago, thereby increasing the average income per household member.
In real terms, income per household member among the lowest 10% employed households has recovered to 2001 levels. For all other income groups, their incomes have recorded new highs.
In particular, the higher-income employed households saw faster income growth, reflecting higher wage increases for skilled and knowledge workers.
Thus, the income distribution continued to widen among employed households, with the Gini coefficient increasing slightly from 0.468 in 2005 to 0.472 in 2006.
However, the Government¡¯s policies have been effective in reducing household income disparity.
The Progress Package including the Workfare Bonus helped to improve the incomes of all households, but gave a more significant boost to those in the lower-income groups.
Hence, after adjusting for Government benefits and taxes, the Gini coefficient among employed households was reduced to 0.439 in 2006.
The Occasional Paper on ¡°Key Household Income Trends, 2006¡± is available for download from the Department of Statistics¡¯ website at For enquiries, please contact Miss Chia Cheow Lin at Tel: 6332 7037.


12 February 2007

1 Household income from work refers to the sum of income received by all members of the household from employment and business. However, it does not include the income of servants.

Source: Press Release 12 Feb 2007

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