Fresh graduates in Hong Kong have more power to negotiate higher salary

As organisations look to attract and retain top talent, university graduates in Hong Kong saw an increase in their starting salaries in 2022.
By: | August 7, 2023

Fresh graduates in Hong Kong earned HKD $300,000 (USD $38,400) a year in average wages in 2022, which represents a 7.8% increase from 2021, according to data from the city’s eight publicly funded universities.

While the increase in salary ranged between 4 to 14%, the average annual salary rose by 7.8% from HKD $281,000 (USD $3,5992.17) to HKD $303,000 (HKD $3,8810.06). This date was released by the University Grants Committee, which covered more than 17,700 graduates across eight universities, accounting for 84% of the total cohort in full-time undergraduate programmes.

This increase has been attributed to an ongoing labour shortage in the city, prompting employers to increase starting pay to attract talent.

“If employers wanted to secure top talent, they would have to pay more, but the increment was not high, so it would not affect their budget a lot,” said Armstrong Lee Hon-cheung, Managing Director of Worldwide Consulting Group. He attributed the higher pay increase for science and business graduates, to the high labour demand in those industries in recent years, especially with regards to technology like cloud computing and big data analysis.

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“Almost all industries are undergoing a digital transformation too … apart from talent with information technology backgrounds, such companies also need a substantial influx of people with business and management knowledge and skills,” said Lee. He suggested that the government should consider hiring talent from overseas, as well as stepping up efforts to retain foreign talent from local universities to maintain productivity amid the falling birth rates in the country, reported the South China Morning Post.