Revealed: 2017 real wage growth

Given a sluggish economy, can Singaporean employees look forward to a salary increase in the new year?

A study done by the Korn Ferry Hay Group projected Asian employees’ salaries increasing at an average of 4.3% in 2017, adding that it is the highest wage growth globally.

Workers in Singapore are looking at a wage growth of 4.7% though Vietnam is the highest with a projected 7.2% salary increment.

“The median base salary movement in Singapore is forecast to be at 4% in 2017. Inflation for this year will be at -0.7%, therefore driving the real salary growth (forecast) to be at 4.7% as compared to 3.7% in 2016,” said a report by Singapore Business Review.

“Singapore’s economy in 2017 is projected to be sluggish with most companies expecting only modest growth,” they added. 

Yet despite a projected modest growth, the study found that more than a third of 400 companies surveyed said there are plans in place in implement a salary increment to their employees.

“With the tightening of foreign labour policies and a lack of expertise at junior to middle levels to fill mission critical and crucial roles, the focus for most employers in 2017 is likely to be talent retention as Singapore continues to face a talent crunch,” said Stephen Choo, senior client partner and country head of global productized services at Korn Ferry Hay Group Singapore.

“In this climate of slow economic growth, apart from wage increase, companies should also explore other creative ways to retain their talent,” he added.

“These could include providing corporate concierge services, giving access to life coaches or even allowing employees to bring their pets to work. By providing an engaging and supportive work environment it can help take the pressure off pay and sustain organisational commitment.”


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