Employee pay gap at its worst in a decade

The gap between lower-level workers and senior managers has widened up to a whopping 66% in Asia

Employee pay gap at its worst in a decade

Since 2008, the pay gap between lower-level employees and senior managers has increased up to a whopping 66% in Asia, according to a new study.

The study, which draws on data from Korn Ferry’s global pay database, shows the pay gap increasing in three-quarters of 58 countries in the analysis.

Eight out of the nine countries in Asia saw moderate increases in their pay gaps between lower-level and higher-level employees. Singapore's increase is at 12.1%, the fourth-highest in the region, but still lower than the average increase of 15.3 percent across the nine countries. India bucks this trend with a dramatic increase of 66% in the pay gap.

READ MORE: Malaysian employees facing dire pay gap

Asia’s average increase is not far from the US, which saw a pay gap growth of 12%.

Europe was the only region that saw majority of countries narrowing its pay gap. On average, the pay gap increase is only 2% in the region. Notable among these are France (-6%), Italy (-3%), Poland (-13%), and the Russian Federation (-3%). The UK was one of the exceptions in the region and saw its pay gap widen by 9%.

“At the lower end of these labour markets, automation and offshoring means that enhanced productivity results in an abundance of available labour – more people than jobs – which slows the increases in pay,” said Bob Wesselkamper, Global Head of Rewards and Benefits Solutions at Korn Ferry.

“Meanwhile, at the higher end, there’s a shortage of people with important hard skills and proven experience, such as STEM. Organizations also have to compete for senior managers with in-demand soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, creative thinking and the ability to manage large and complex teams. Therefore, pay at this level is going up – and is likely to increase faster than other jobs.”

Recent articles & video

$1 trillion: Economic burden of depression

Singapore's employment rate declines in 2023

Toxic work culture driving young employees to quit the next day: Report

Can you fire a worker who was put on a performance management plan?

Most Read Articles

Return to office challenge: terminations upheld in courts

Millennials had to 'speak up’ to get recognition

Singapore employers urged to be clear on allowing remote work overseas