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86% of Singapore employees expect a pay rise in 2014

17 Jan 2014

According to a new report from Hudson- a recruitment firm, in the coming year, a prominent number of employees in Singapore plan to change jobs. This is the recent sign of tight labor conditions in Singapore.

Hudson’s ‘2014 Salary & Employment Insights’ report for Singapore said that, in the past 2 years, around 40% of the surveyed workers have changed jobs while around 71% are presently searching for a new job.

The executive general manager for Hudson Singapore, Andrew Tomich told CNBC that his feedback to organizations is that 71% of the present employees are passively or actively searching for a new job and out of that 71%, 87% believe they will have a new job in the next 12 months. He added that this is a relatively high number for Singapore.

The rate of unemployment in Singapore stands at 1.8%, which is well below the unemployment rate in most developed countries. Hong Kong has an unemployment rate at around 3.3%, and Japan has 4%.

Another primary finding from the Hudson report was the anticipation of many employees in Singapore is a modest pay raise in 2014.

As per the survey conducted in November, 86% of employees in Singapore anticipated a pay raise with around 20% wanting a raise of over 10%.

Hudson said that a high level of performance and an increase in the cost of living were the primary reasons cited by employees in Singapore for expecting a pay raise.

Most of the employers who were surveyed by the firm (around 53%) predicted a steady headcount in the first 3 months of 2014 and aim to fix salary rises at 3-5% which is still above inflation. According to a recent official data, in November 2013, the Consumer Price Index of Singapore stood at 2.6% from a year earlier.

Hudson’s Tomich said that with the ability to grab another job very quickly and a low unemployment rate, it is very tough for employers to retain their employees in Singapore.

He added that they checked other things that can be done besides simply raising salary, and found that 90% of the employees in Singapore first valued bonuses and the next flexible working hours. Tomich said that as this is not a normal occurrence, there is a change in the Singapore market.

However, a weekend report in the Strait Times newspaper of Singapore said that as the economy slows, salary raises are expected to be modest in 2014. The newspaper cited this from the words of industry associations, recruitment and remuneration firms.

Another data showed that the economy of Singapore increased 4.4% on year in Q4 2013, slowing from a 5.9% pace in Q3. The government expects the economy of Singapore to grow by 2-4% in 2014.

The Hudson report was based on a survey of 1,292 employees and 477 employers.

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