With a more positive economic outlook and growing business conditions, companies across the Asia Pacific region are planning to add more hires and raise wages of workers.
According to the 2012 APAC Salary Budget Planning Survey by Towers Watson, over 90% of respondents plan to hire new staff next year.
It also reported that the salary growth rates in APAC are expected to range from 2.3% to 12% in 2013, showing a slight increase of 0.1 to 0.5 percentage point from 2012. For all 132 markets covered in the survey, salary growth rates are expected to outpace projected inflation rates of the respective markets for 2013.
Employers from Vietnam and India are expecting a double-digit salary increase of 12% in 2013, the highest within the region. The two countries are also the most affected by inflation, with India expecting to post the region’s highest inflation rate of 7.6% in 2013.
In Singapore, respondents are budgeting an average salary increase of 4.5% for 2013, higher than 4.3% for 2012. As unemployment rate continues to remain low at two per cent, the job market remains tight, providing the impetus for domestic wage growth to spiral upwards.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) have a favourable outlook for their business and expect their business performance to improve by end of 2012. This is a vast improvement from the previous survey conducted six months ago, where only 10% of employers felt positive. Some 91% of respondents said they plan to add to the headcount in the next 12 months, with a strong focus on sales, engineering and marketing jobs.
Sean Paul Darilay, Global Data Services Manager, Towers Watson Singapore, commented: “Given the unique nature of Singapore’s economy and its capacity constraints, Singapore has always been faced with a tight labour market, especially in certain sectors which require specific skill sets and expertise. The recent tightening of regulations on companies’ ability to hire foreign workers and rising employee medical costs may accelerate wage inflation. It is imperative that companies here look for new ways to improve workforce planning, invest in technology to enhance productivity, and put a greater focus on better managing and communicating employee benefits and rewards.”
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