For most employees earning a promotion along with a 15% pay raise would be a dream come through, especially considering Hongkongers on average received only a 3.6% pay raise in 2016.
Last week, however, TOPick reported the story of an employee who was depressed after receiving a 15% pay raise, earning HK$29,000 a month, and being promoted to assistant marketing manager.
“I was delighted with my new pay until I decided to buy a flat. I did some research on property prices and became depressed because HK$29,000 a month means nothing,” wrote the post.
According to the Census and Statistics Department, HK$29,000 is an above average income in Hong Kong. The city’s median individual income in 2016 was HK$15,500 per month and the top 20% earners make HK$30,000.
A study published by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions on Labour Day might further explain why the writer of the post is in despair. It revealed from 2003 to 2016, the salary increase of local employees was 42%, but property prices went up by 154% during the same period.
The writer of the post added that he had saved more than half a million dollars after putting in six years of hard work but that also wasn’t going to help him buy an apartment.
He said he now regrets doing overtime until 11 PM every day and working on Saturdays to earn the promotion, only to find out he will never be able to afford a flat.
“I dedicated my the best years of my life to a career, only to be rewarded with stomach ache, lack of sleep, and the habit of checking email when I wake up,” he wrote.
Commenting on the current trend of young people getting help from parents to buy an apartment, he finds it illogical. He questioned the logic behind young people in their prime taking money from old people with no income.
Having to deal with a demanding workplace and sky-rocketing property prices, it seems negativity in the office is building up, especially among young employees who find themselves in a hopeless situation.
Maybe it is time for more employers to consider offering benefits like HSBC, where employees can borrow 120 times their salary to help fulfill their property dreams.
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