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An Examination of Labor Productivity Growth and Structural Changes in the Singapore Labor Force

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This paper first examines the sources of growth in the Singapore economy by decomposing real per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth into two components. It is found that, for the period 1974–1999, labor productivity was a significant source of economic growth in Singapore. Conversely, the contribution of the rate of change in employment ratio was only of secondary importance. On further decomposition, the rate of change in employment ratio was due mainly to rate of change in population age-structure ratio and rate of change in labor-force participation rate. Growth patterns of the labor force were examined after it has been segregated according to gender, citizenship and age group independently. Labor productivity growth was highest in the transport, storage and communication sector, while labor productivity growth was lowest in the financial, insurance, real estate and business services sector.
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Keywords: Singapore labor force; economic growth; labor productivity

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Nanyang Technological University

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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