A Look at Wage Share and Wages in Singapore
Singapore has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. However, our wage share of GDP (at around 43 per cent) is lower than the shares of most developed economies (at 50 per cent or more).Some argue that this shows that workers in Singapore are underpaid, and that Singapore’s economic growth has disproportionately benefitted multinational companies and capital owners at the expense of workers.
This article examines the relationship between wage share and wages across countries, and also at the sectoral level in Singapore. Overall, it finds that higher wage shares do not necessarily translate to higher wages. Hence, a more meaningful discussion on ways to raise the wages of Singaporeans should focus on tangible measures like skills upgrading and job restructuring, rather than wage shares.
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