Salaries of most Singaporeans increase in 2011
This trend is revealed in mid-July survey
Over 80 per cent of Singaporeans received a salary increase ranging from one pre cent to 21 per cent, a recent global survey of 3,200 professionals conducted by recruitment consultancy Robert Walters has revealed.
Of the majority in the group, 40 per cent of Singaporeans received a pay rise of between one and five per cent. Twenty per cent received between six and 10 per cent, 14 per cent received between 11 and 20 per cent and eight per cent received more than 21 per cent.
The remarkable fact is that the financial industry did not lead the increase in salaries this time.
Andrea Ross, Managing Director at Robert Walters Singapore & Malaysia, pointed out: "The large increases in 2011 predominantly came from the non-financial services industry, as salaries within the financial services sector had a sharp increase last year. "
"Another factor contributing to the increase in salaries at the start of the year would be the added focus of companies in trying to retain their top talent by providing competitive remuneration," he added.
A summary of the survey result shows that the highest pay rises of 10 per cent or more came from Asian countries: 45 per cent of respondents from China, 26 per cent of respondents in Thailand, 24 per cent of respondents in Malaysia, 22 per cent of respondents in Singapore and 21 per cent of respondents from Hong Kong. In contrast, the comparative figure for UK was only 16 per cent.
On the other hand, there were countries where the majority of the respondents received no increase at all. These included Ireland (65 per cent of respondents), New Zealand (49 per cent), Belgium (39 per cent) and Australia (35 per cent).
However, some financial observers have challenged the survey findings. They argued that the survey was not accurate as it included Singaporeans or expatriates who were already earning high salaries.
We need to assess the reliability of surveys like this one. One fact which stands out is that the standard salary in applications for employment visas in Singapore increased as of July. So, it is true that those foreigners who needed these visas for the first time received higher salaries, thanks to the change of visa regulation.
What is also crystal clear is that companies affected by the increase in salaries would now need to focus on improving productivity so as to match the higher salaries they are paying out.