April 13, 2008
The proportion of Singaporeans earning less than S$1,000 a month rose to 18% last year, from 16% in 2002, according to central bank data.
The bad part is that life is often worse for the unemployed – compared to other countries - because Singapore has no safety net and no rural hinterland to cushion their suffering.
Unlike in Malaysia or Thailand, a jobless person who cannot cope with the global market has no countryside to retreat to so that he can live off the land.
The problem will get worse. In other words, the rich will get richer and the poor, poorer with the middle class remaining more or less stagnant.
The state’s Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, has worsened from 42.5 in 1998 to 47.2 in 2006, which makes it in league with the Philippines (46.1) and Guatemala (48.3), and worse than China (44.7) according to the World Bank.
Recommended by at82: "It says alot about the state of Singapore's economy when there are more people earning less $1000 per month in 2007 compared to 2002..."