More than eight in 10 employers in Singapore to give bonuses: survey

Singapore to see 'less urgency' in hiring in the first quarter of 2024

More than eight in 10 employers in Singapore to give bonuses: survey

More than eight in 10 employers in Singapore are planning to extend at least a month's worth of bonuses to employees despite a weaker employment climate, according to a new report.

A survey by ManpowerGroup among 525 employers revealed that 84% are planning to extend bonuses averaging one month or more in 2023/2024, a slight decline from last year's 87%.

According to the survey, one in two employers plan to extend bonuses averaging one month, four per cent higher than a year ago.

Another 27% said they plan to give out bonuses worth more than a month and up to 1.5 months, while seven per cent said they plan to extend bonuses worth more than 1.5 months.

Linda Teo, country manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore, pointed out that bonuses are getting handed despite "lacklustre economic conditions."

"Given the GST (Goods and Services Tax) hike and escalating costs of living, companies are also awarding bonuses and increasing compensation as a strategy to maintain competitiveness in talent retention and attraction," Teo said in a statement.

More than three-quarters of the respondents (79%) also said they plan to increase salaries by at least three per cent, according to the report.

Among them, 57% said they plan to hike salaries between three and five per cent, while 19% said they plan to increase between five and seven per cent.

Less urgency in hiring

The findings come as the report also found that Singaporean employers' hiring sentiments for the first quarter of 2024 declined to 29%.

Only 44% of the respondents said they are expecting their headcount to increase the next quarter. Another 15% anticipate a decrease, while 39% said they don't have plans to change their headcount.

Teo said external factors, including inflation and global conflicts, that affected last year's local employment market continue to impact the first quarter of 2024.

"Many companies are taking a prudent approach to hiring as they manage their bottom lines," Teo said. "While companies are still hiring, there is less urgency to fill vacancies as companies exercise more diligence in assessing candidates."

Among various sectors, the Transport, Logistics, and Automotive industry is leading hiring demand with a 44% Net Employment Outlook.

This is "bolstered by strong demands for airline travel and logistics services," ManpowerGroup said.

Demand for skills related to green economy is also growing, with Teo attributing this to the "corporate shift towards sustainability."

"Many jobs, from finance to logistics, will be impacted by the greening of jobs as more companies undergo the green transition and adopt more sustainable business practices," Teo said.

Meanwhile, hiring outlook in the entire Asia-Pacific region declined to 30% since last quarter, with the report attributing it to China's weaker economy. By market, hiring expectations in APAC for Q1 of 2024 are:

  • India (37%)
  • China (33%)
  • Australia (30%)
  • Hong Kong (30%)

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