Singapore sees modest wage growth in 2023

Nominal wage growth for full-time resident employees in Singapore slowed to 5.2% in 2023, yet remained above pre-recession levels, MOM reports.
By: | June 26, 2024

Singapore’s real wage growth remained stagnant in 2023 at 0.4%, according to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). This follows a slight increase of 1.6% in 2021, but continues a downward trend since 2018.

Nominal total wages for full-time resident employees with the same employer for at least a year grew at a slower pace in 2023 (5.2%) than in 2022 (6.5%). However, MOM highlighted that this growth remains higher than pre-recessionary levels.

All industries and employee types saw wage increases in 2023, albeit at a smaller scale than the previous year. Senior management saw the lowest growth (4.6%), while rank-and-file and junior management received 4.8% and 6.3% increases, respectively. The Progressive Wage Model in the administrative and support services industry led to faster wage growth within that sector.

Despite over 80% of organisations being profitable, slower economic growth impacted wage decisions. Fewer organisations award raises (65.5% in 2023 vs. 72.2% in 2022). The average raise amount also dipped from 7.9% to 7.2%. Conversely, the number of organisations cutting wages increased (6.5% in 2023 vs. 4.5% in 2022), with a larger average decrease (~6.2% vs. ~4.5%). MOM attributed the decline in wages primarily to reduced bonuses.

READ MORE: Employees in Singapore feel most underpaid in Asia-Pacific

The job market remains tight, particularly for professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMET) roles in information and communications, financial services, professional services, and health and social services. This could lead to higher wage growth in these sectors compared to 2023. However, MOM acknowledged business environment uncertainties may lead organisations to be cautious about raises.

“On balance, we expect the nominal wage growth in 2024 to remain similar to 2023. With inflation expected to stay on a gradually moderating trend, we expect an improvement in real wage growth,” said MOM, reported CNA.

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