More Singapore employers increased wages in 2017

The upward salary trend, according to the Singapore Manpower Ministry, comes on the back of a recovering economy.

More Singapore firms increased staff wages in 2017 as compared to 2016, indicating an improving economy.

This is according to Ministry of Manpower Research and Statistics Department’s Report on Wage Practices that was released on May 30. This year’s survey covered 4,900 private establishments with at least 10 employees.

Of these entities, 65% said they raised salaries in 2017, compared to 58% in 2016.

The upward salary trend is in line with a recovering economy. According to the report, the Singapore economy grew by 3.6% in 2017, up from 2.4% in 2016.

Semiconductor manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Singapore was one organisation that provided salary increments to its employees last year.

Meghal Goradia, Senior HR Business Partner at AMD Singapore, tells HRM Magazine Asia that the US-founded company provided an annual increment of “up to 4%” to all 400 employees – from technicians and operators to engineers.

The proportion of establishments that cut total wages also fell, from 17% in 2016 to 12% in 2017. As a result, the proportion of employees who received a wage increase also rose from 75% last year to 78% in 2016.

Nominal total wages (including employer CPF contributions) in the private sector grew by 3.8% in 2017, higher than 3.1% in 2016. However, after accounting for the change in inflation from -0.5% in 2016 to 0.6% in 2017, real total wage growth was 3.2% in 2017, which is slightly lower than the 3.6% in 2016.

Across industries, professional services, accommodation and food services, info-communications, finance and insurance, wholesale and retail trade, and manufacturing registered the same or higher nominal wage growth than in 2016.

Transportation and storage, administrative and support, and real estate saw lower wage growths in 2017 than in 2016. 

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