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Singapore’s pay outlook weakens

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The pay outlook for Singapore this year is expected to stand at 4.3%, a 0.6% drop from last year’s actual average.

Hay Group’s salary report Sustaining Organisation Effectiveness in an Ever Changing Business Environment also expects the 2015 projected salary increase to dip slightly to 4.2%.

Based on the responses of 110 Singapore-based companies, Hay Group reported the top three paying sectors in the country are retail, industrial goods, and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). Those working in retail would have seen an increase of 5.3%, while those in industrial goods and FMCG would have received an increase of 5.1% and 4.6% respectively.

“The generous salary adjustment observed in the retail sector could be a result of a ripple effect of the Wage Credit Scheme, a key government initiative to help businesses raise workers’ wages under Budget 2013,” Victor Chan, regional general manager (ASEAN) for productised services at Hay Group, said.

In the next 12 months, Hay Group predicts the industrial goods sector will see the highest salary increase forecast at 4.8%, with oil and gas, chemicals, and leisure and hospitality vying for second place with 4.5%.

“Clearly, in times of unpredictable business cycles, organisations must keep a keen eye on the bottom line to remain competitive – by minimising costs and driving productivity. This can’t be done without the support of an engaged workforce,” Chan said.

“Securing the commitment of employees by developing clear career management plans, nurturing key talent and creating a buzz around the company’s vision can play a role in engaging and retaining employees over the long-term.”

The Hay Group report also identified the most in-demand jobs of 2014, including positions in engineering (12%), administration, support and service (12%), and sales (10%).

Additionally, it broke down the expected bonus payouts according to employee level; this year, senior management can expect an average variable bonus payout of 3 months, followed by 2.5 months for middle management, 2.3 months for junior professionals and 2.1 months for clerical support.

Next year, the projected average variable bonus payout is 2.4 months.

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