News: Real wages in Singapore up 4.2% in 2018, may face trouble this year

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Real wages in Singapore up 4.2% in 2018, may face trouble this year

Last year, growth in real total wages - which accounts for inflation of 0.4 per cent - picked up again after two consecutive years of slowing down.
Real wages in Singapore up 4.2% in 2018, may face trouble this year

The maximum number of employees in Singapore received wage increases in the year 2018, as the economy and labor market remained healthy.

But experts highlighted a colorful scenario for the current year, with mounting trade tensions and slower growth prospects.

Last year, growth in real total wages - which accounts for inflation of 0.4 per cent - picked up again after two consecutive years of slowing down.

According to a report released by the Manpower Ministry, the wage rose by 4.2 per cent on average last year, up from 3.2 per cent in 2017. This comprises of handsome bonuses of 2.06 months of basic wage last year, up from two months.

Better pay last year came on the back of strong employment growth, despite Singapore's economy slowing to 3.1 per cent growth last year from 3.7 per cent in 2017.

Economists said the strong wage growth probably did not factor in the slowdown in the second half of the year.

Selena Ling, Head of Treasury, OCBC Bank said, "Companies started the year positive and typically make plans for manpower requirements and bonus payouts then."

Still, as a result of firms' improved profitability, the proportion that raised wages last year hit 67 per cent, up from 65 per cent in 2017.

The proportion of firms that cut wages also fell to 9 per cent last year from 12 per cent previously.

Overall, the share of employees who received a pay bump rose to 81 per cent last year from 78 per cent in 2017. Their average raise last year, at 5.8 per cent, was also higher than 2017's average hike of 5.1 per cent.

But for workers, who received pay cuts last year, the cuts were deeper - 4.3 per cent last year compared with 3.9 per cent the year before.

The industries which posted the highest nominal wage growth last year were financial and insurance services, and professional services. On the other hand, manufacturing, food and beverage services and retail trade saw similar or moderated wage growth compared with the year before.

 

Topics: #Jobs, Workforce Management System

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