Salaries in Singapore to go up by 3.9% next year

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Salaries across industries in Singapore will likely rise by an overall 3.9 per cent next year, without taking into account inflation, human resource consultant Mercer said yesterday.

Most industries will enjoy higher salary increases, with the exception of the life insurance, Internet, real estate, banking and logistics industries.

The findings come from Mercer's Compensation Planning For 2018 report for the region.

Mercer warned that a rise in inflation could depress wage increases, with most employers not planning to increase human resource budgets next year.

In Singapore, employees in legal, finance, and research and development will see the biggest pay increases next year.

This year, the chemical, life sciences, and consumer goods industries were the tops when it came to highest base pay and total cash increases for executives.

The report said: "Even with the rebound in exports and trade, with the recent multilateral trade agreements, we do not expect a significant impact on wage growth in 2018. Positive signals of revival from the semiconductor and biotechnology sector imply that specialist engineering and sales talent will be in demand."

The working age population is projected to stagnate before the end of this decade and much like other advanced economies, Singapore faces the challenge of lifting productivity to sustain gross domestic product growth.

Despite these challenges, world-class infrastructure, strong regulation and a sound track record of forward planning means Singapore remains a highly competitive economy, the report added.

GDP growth is expected to ease to 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent per annum in 2018-22, in line with the Government's expectations, but far from the high of 4.7 per cent per annum in the decade leading up to last year, according to consultant IMA Asia. - LEE MEIXIAN