The mission of the Manpower Research and Statistics Department (MRSD) of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is to provide timely and reliable national statistical information on the labour market to facilitate informed decision making within the government and community-at-large.
MRSD conducts about 30 national surveys a year to collect important statistics on the labour market, including information on employment, unemployment, retrenchment, job openings, wages, hours worked, labour turnover, training, employment conditions and workplace practices. Most of these labour market data are obtained from two major surveys namely, Labour Force Survey (LFS) on households, and Labour Market Survey (LMS) and several additional surveys on establishments.
Every year, LFS covers 153,000 households in Singapore with 33,000 in June and 10,000 in each month. The quarterly LMS covers a total of 54,000 establishments, i.e. around 13,500 each quarter. Another 5,300 establishments are selected for the Annual Wage Changes Survey (AWS) in the fourth quarter each year.
The rapidly changing economic and social environment has led to growing demands on MRSD to track more closely changes in the labour market and measure new trends and developments in the dynamic labour market, requiring faster turnaround time from data collection to dissemination. The existing four IT systems, namely the Computer Assisted Telephone Interview System, Internet Household Survey System, Internet Establishment Survey System and Survey Management System have exceeded their economic lifespan and could not effectively serve the purpose. It was difficult to make changes to survey questionnaires, requiring long lead time before the changes could be effected on-line. Public users have also complained about the user-friendliness of the systems.