Asian nations mixed in pay hike prospects

Wages are on the rise across the continent – are you up for a pay rise this year?

Asian nations mixed in pay hike prospects

Wages are on the rise across Asia but while some employees can expect a six per cent jump, others are headed for less significant increases.

According to the latest Salary Trends report by ECA International, Singaporean professionals can expect to be paid 2.7 per cent more next year – four per cent in nominal terms, adjusted for 1.3 per cent inflation. The prediction puts Singapore ninth place among 20 countries.

“Over the past few years inflation in Singapore has increased while nominal salary increases have stayed flat, which has had the effect of slowly eroding pay rises in real terms,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director for Asia at ECA International.

“Despite this, the salary increases for 2017 and 2018 are higher than in Hong Kong and compare favourably with other developed economies in the region and globally. This reflects the fact that the Singapore economy continues to perform well on the back of global economic recovery.”

The Salary Trends Reports is the result of information gathered from 260 multinational companies from 72 countries between August and September 2017.

These companies were from the following industries: Energy, mining & petrochemicals, chemical & pharmaceutical, transport & logistics, manufacturing & consumer goods, legal & professional services, engineering & technology, retail, leisure & other services, financial services and Non-profit.

Elsewhere in the region, Chinese companies are seen to provide their staff with an average salary hike of 6% next year, higher than the 5.5% awarded, on average, last year.

“This points to improved business sentiment in China, and shows that employers are more positive for the prospects of both the domestic and global economy in 2018,” according to Quane.

Malaysian workers, meanwhile, can expect even better prospects with wage increases of above 5%, given low unemployment and a strong economy.

India is expected to give our real wage increases of 4.9% on average.

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia also make up the top ten nations within the global top ten in terms of real salary.

Hong Kong workers, meanwhile, may have reason to be glum as they can expect a real increase of 1.8% next year, placing it on 16th place out of 20 countries surveyed in the region.

Japanese and Australian employees will receive the slimmest increases of 2.2% nominal and 0.8% real, respectively.

The real salary increase is calculated based on the difference between the forecast nominal salary increase and inflation. Forecast inflation rates are based on information from the International Monetary Fund.

Related stories:
NWC urges pay hike for low-wage workers
Singapore PMETs see higher salaries

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