Real-wage salaries in Singapore expected to grow more next year, thanks to benign inflation: Korn Ferry

Singapore’s real-wage salaries could grow by 3.6 per cent next year, up from the previous 3.0 per cent, Korn Ferry said.
The Straits Times

Good news, Singapore: salaries here are expected to increase by a larger margin in 2020 than they were expected last year.

According to a new forecast, Singapore’s real-wage salaries could grow by 3.6 per cent next year, up from the previous 3.0 per cent, Korn Ferry said on Thursday (Nov 28).

This is despite the headline forecast being similar to the previous year, at around 4 per cent.

Thanks to a benign inflation rate of 0.4 per cent, Singapore’s real-wage increase is expected to be higher than it was the year before, the global management consulting firm said.

Read also: Singapore’s salary increase for 2020 is predicted at 3% – and that’s already way higher than the world average

“With the ongoing situation in Hong Kong and geo-political uncertainly in other parts of Asia, International and MNCs might re-ignite conversations around choosing Singapore as the main location for ASEAN and APAC Head Offices, Kartikey Singh, head of rewards & benefits at Korn Ferry Singapore said.

Due to economic slowdown and the US-China trade war, there will be continuous pressure on wage increases for the Singapore market, Singh said. “We see this pressure building up for the middle to senior level managers, more than junior and entry level graduates,” he added.

Korn Ferry Digital’s client director, Farhan Mahmood, said Singapore continues to be an attractive destination for talent despite difficulty hiring for some roles.

According to Farhan, almost 38 per cent of participating organisations in the 2019-20 annual Korn Ferry Salary & Benefits survey indicated that they were facing difficulty hiring for engineering roles, as well as IT and sales roles. “As such, organisations should focus the 3.6 per cent salary increase on critical roles and those that are difficult to recruit,” he said.

Companies should also consider spending more on training and development to build a pipeline for these roles, he added.

Political uncertainty keeps Hong Kong’s real-wage growth modest

Across Asia, salaries are forecast to grow by 5.3 per cent in 2020. But an inflation rate of 2.2 per cent means real-wage salaries could grow at around 3.1 per cent, the highest growth rate among the world’s regions.

Korn Ferry

India has the highest headline forecast of 9.2 per cent salary growth in Asia. But a 4.2 per cent inflation rate means that real-wage salary growth is expect to be around 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is expected to experience the highest real-wage growth across the region at 5.1 per cent.

At the other end of the spectrum, political uncertainty and a relatively high inflation rate has resulted in a comparatively modest real-wage growth forecast of 1.4 per cent for Hong Kong in 2020.

Using data on over 20 million job holders in 25,000 organisations around the world, Korn Ferry said salaries globally are predicted to grow at a rate of approximately 4.9 per cent in 2020. With a global inflation rate prediction of approximately 2.8 per cent, global real-wage salary increase is predicted to be at 2.1 per cent.

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