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Wage increase for Singapore workers to slow: Report

Singapore workers are likely to receive a 4.3 per cent salary rise in 2014, but this is a drop from last year's 4.9 per cent, says management consultancy Hay Group.

SINGAPORE: Employees can expect their pay to go up more than 4 per cent on average this year, but the rate of increase has slowed from last year, as organisations brace for business performances that are below targeted levels, according to management group Hay Group.

In its report released on Tuesday (June 3), the company said the actual average salary increase for this year is 4.3 per cent, which is a slower rate of increase from 2013's 4.9 per cent. This is expected to slow even further in 2015, with the predicted average salary increase at 4.2 per cent.

"The forecast for 2015 is a slight 0.1 per cent lower than the previous 12 months as 11 per cent of organisations are expecting business performance to be worse than targeted levels in 2014, signalling increasing uncertainty on global economic conditions," said Mr Victor Chan, regional general manager (ASEAN) for productised services at Hay Group.

A total of 110 Singapore-based companies, both local and foreign-owned, from the private and public sectors were polled.

Delving into a sectoral outlook, the report said the retail sector saw the highest salary increase at 5.3 per cent in the last 12 months prior to March 1, 2014. Trailing it were the Industrial Goods sector at 5.1 per cent, and the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector at 4.6 per cent. 

"The generous salary adjustment observed in the retail sector could be a result of a ripple effect of the Wage Credit Scheme, a key government initiative to help businesses raise workers' wages under Budget 2013, Mr Chan said.

He added that organisations still need to have the support of an engaged workforce, even as they keep a tight hold on their bottomlines.

"Securing the commitment of employees by developing clear management plans, nurturing key talent and creating a buzz around the company's visions can play a role in engaging and retaining employees over the long term."

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