Singapore's pay raises highest globally

Salary increases are set to be lower in 2020 – but still three times of the global average

Singapore's pay raises highest globally

The average salary increase for workers in Singapore is forecasted to be 3.0% above inflation in 2020, a slight drop from the 3.3% increase that was seen in 2019.

Despite the slower pace of growth, it’s still above the average in Asia Pacific, and more than double of Hong Kong’s, according to a new study.

Additionally, it’ll be three times above the global average of 1.4% and Europe’s average of a 1.1% pay raise.

READ MORE: MOM releases latest labour market report

Overall, Asian nations lead the way for salary increases – 13 out of the top 20 increases in real salaries have been observed in Asian countries, occupying the top five spots in the global rankings.

India topped the global list – a first. But once again, it’s expected to see the highest real salary increase in Asia, predicted to be 5.4%, according to ECA International.

The increase is almost four times of that expected in Hong Kong. However, unless the economy picks up, the “salary rise of this scale may not be sustainable in the longer term”, said Lee Quane Regional Director – Asia at ECA International.

China is not so far off Singapore, with real pay rise predicted at 3.6%.

“Although there are signs that the Chinese economy may be slowing down in the face of the ongoing trade war with the US, wages and salary increases are still holding firm,” Quane said. “China has also maintained its place in the global top 10 for salary increases.”

READ MORE: Will HR get a pay raise in 2020?

However, not all employees in emerging Asian economies will benefit from an above average salary rise. Employees in Malaysia are expected to see a big drop in their real salary increases compared to previous years: down to 2.9% in 2020, from 4.0% in 2019.

Employees in Hong Kong will be hit the worst – ECA predicted that they’ll see some of the lowest increases in the region.

“This underlines the fact that many companies in Hong Kong need to continue to attract and retain staff even in this period of economic adversity for the city,” he said.

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