Salaries in Singapore to rise 4% in 2017; Most of Apac to see wage growth tumbling

Adjusted for the 0.8 percent inflation forecast in the country, the actual wage rise would be 3.2 percent.

Singapore economy expands by 1.8 per cent in Quarter 1
The skyline of the central business district in Singapore Reuters

A survey has shown that salaries in Singapore would rise 4 percent in 2017 but the wage increase in the island state will be dwarfed by the average 5.9 percent spike predicted across the Asia-Pacific region.

Adjusted for the 0.8 percent inflation forecast in the country, the actual wage rise would be 3.2 percent.

The survey was conducted by professional services company Willis Towers Watson. "We are seeing lower salary increase budgets across much of the region," Sambhav Rakyan of Willis Towers Watson said, according to the Channel News Asia.

"Back in 2012 and 2013, companies in Asia pumped a lot of money into their salary budgets and drove salaries up, but they didn't see the revenues rise in tandem, so it made such increases unsustainable. Now these companies are being much more prudent."

Analysts say the real rise in wages will be less than the projection, going by pas experience. While the projected pay rise in 2016 was 6.4 percent, the actual increase was around 5.8 percent.

The survey collected responses from 4,000 people in 22 markets, covering sectors like technology, financial services, pharmaceutical and health sciences, chemical, energy and natural resources, media, retail, construction and engineering, transportation and consumer goods.

Total rewards factors

According to the survey, Pakistani workers are expected to get the highest pay rise next year -- 10.2 percent. Indian workforce could receive a wage increase of 10 percent. Pay rise in Hong Kong is expected to be among the weakest, at 1.7 percent.

Among the 22 markets in the region covered in the survey, only Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka are expected to see higher base salary rise in 2017.

"Companies need to adopt a more holistic approach and consider total rewards factors such as career development opportunities, recognitions, ongoing communications, and flexible working arrangements," Maggy Fang, Head of Talent and Rewards for Asia-Pacific at Willis Towers Watson, said.