DEPS survey sees increase in wages

The average monthly wage increased by BND33, from BND1,593 in 2018 to BND1,626 in 2019, with locals earning on average BND551 more than foreigners.

This was based on a report recently released by the Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS), under the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

The report, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2019, is aimed at providing information on the size, structure, distribution and characteristics of the workforce for the planning, research, policy-making and management of the labour force, said the agency in its media release.

The survey involved 3,200 households comprising 370,000 individuals aged 15 and above using systematic sampling methodology endorsed by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The DEPS added, “The data obtained from the selected households were extrapolated according to the sampling weights and then calibrated to represent the total population living in regular households in Brunei Darussalam.”

According to the LFS 2019, there was a decrease of 1.1 per cent in labour participation, from 2018 at 65.4 per cent to 2019 at 64.3 per cent, with male considerably higher at 72.5 per cent than female, at 54.8 per cent. A total of 221,700 were employed in the country, with 135,800 males and 85,900 females.

Local workers, the report said, accounted for a bigger share of the workforce at 66.5 per cent.

In terms of the distribution of the labour force, 91 per cent or 201,800 were employees, 5.5 per cent or 12,100 were own-account workers, 2.7 per cent or 6,000 were employers and the remaining 1,800 individuals were family workers.

Some 33.8 per cent (74,900) were employed in the public sector in 2019, with the category of economic activity type showing that administration work made up the largest portion at 19 per cent (42,000), followed by wholesale and retail at 16 per cent (35,500) and accommodation and food services at 9.6 per cent (21,300).

Meanwhile, in terms of the type of occupation, 20.2 per cent (44,900) of the workforce were in service or sales industry, followed by professionals at 17.5 per cent (38,800) and workers in elementary occupation at 15.8 per cent (35,000).

The survey also saw a decrease in unemployment rate from 8.7 per cent (19,200) in 2018 to 6.8 per cent (16,200) in 2019. The report noted, “The total number of local unemployed (Brunei citizens and permanent residents) aged 18 and over was 15,600, of which 38.4 per cent (6,000) aged between 18 and 24, and more than half (61.6 per cent or 9,600) aged between 25 and 64.”

The LFS 2019 is available on the DEPS website at For information, email to [email protected]