According to Towers Watson, a professional services firm, salaries will increase between 2.3% to 12% in Asia Pacific next year, on the back of a positive business outlook among firms. Companies in Singapore anticipate an average salary increase of 4.5% in 2013, up by 0.2% vis-a-vis this year. Companies from Vietnam and India, on the other hand, expect the higher spectrum of the increase i.e. 12% in 2013.
TIGHTENING OF SINGAPORE’S VISA FRAMEWORK
Mr. Satish Bakhda, Head of Operations at Rikvin, a Singapore work visa specialist said, “This survey comes close on the heels of the fifth Expat Explorer Survey published by HSBC recently. The survey rated the city-state as the best place for expatriate career growth, salaries and family life.”
The onus then, is for companies to retain their best and brightest through better people management, development opportunities and rewards.
In spite of Singapore’s attractiveness, the job market is expected to remain tight due to changing Singapore work pass policies and a plateauing unemployment rate of 2.0% since June 2012.
“The combination of the successive calibration of the work pass policies, which hamper companies’ ability to access foreign workers, and tight labor market, may in turn accelerate wage inflation. It is then the onus and of interest for companies to retain their best and brightest through better people management, development opportunities and rewards,” affirmed Mr. Bakhda.
The 2012 Third Quarter Asia Pacific Salary Budget Planning Survey, which encompassed 13 markets in Asia Pacific, was conducted between August and September 2012. Over 500 firms from the automotive, chemicals, energy, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), financial services, technology, pharmaceutical and retail industries responded to the survey.
91% of them expressed plans to hire new employees for sales, marketing and engineering positions in the coming year, on the back of a business outlook that appears to be rosier compared to six months ago.
Specifically in Singapore, the survey revealed that the city state, along with China, India, Thailand and Japan, will record higher voluntary staff turnover in the coming year due to the pursuit of better career opportunities (43.6%), higher salaries (38.8%) and greater flexibility in work arrangements (12.9%).