According to research on nominal wage growth by Mercer, a majority of the Asia Pacific’s emerging economies are forecasting higher salary increase percentages for 2017 than 2016, with financial hubs Hong Kong and Singapore are forecast to see a 4.2% and 4.1% increase, respectively.

Now research on the market outlook for 2017 by RGF, consolidating responses from 500 managers in Singapore, finds more sectors are forecasting an increase in salaries in 2017 (42), as compared to only 4% in H1 2016 and 39% in H2 2016. However, an equally significant 50% anticipate no change in salaries this year compared to the previous

Since the economic slowdown a couple of years ago, RGF notes more organisations have embraced non-monetary benefits, enhanced L&D programmes and flexible work. However, many are still using pay increases to retain top performers.

Among these, the highest increases in 2017 are expected in manufacturing, engineering and industrial sectors (more than 30%), while technology/online/digital and life sciences/healthcare/pharma sectors anticipate salary increases of 11-20%.

ALSO READ: 8 tech and creative jobs with the biggest expected pay increases in 2017

No change in salary in 2017 is expected by 70% of respondents in the energy sector and 65% in the professional services sector - with 15% and 16% actually anticipating a decrease in sectors respectively.

Organisations that have put salary reviews on hold in 2016 are expected to resume reviews in 2017. RGF sees increased optimism and hiring within the manufacturing/engineering/industrial sectors.

However due to the current ‘wait and see’ climate, the trend of cautious hiring, lengthening of recruitment cycle, and increased hiring of contract employees is expected to persist across sectors in 2017.

Hiring outlook for 2017: Singapore

RGF - hiring outlook for Singapore 2017

Lead photo / iStock