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Hong Kong salaries to rise by 3.6% in 2020


According to comprehensive figures from a just-released survey, the average Hong Kong salary is tipped to rise by 3.6% in 2020.

The survey covered a total of 109,619 Hong Kong employees from 97 companies at four employee levels: managerial, supervisory/technical, general and operative staff. The survey was conducted between July and September 2019.

Salary review A total of 96 companies provided data for the overall actual salary from July 2018 to June 2019. It ranged from 3.9% to 4.1% for the period.

The overall projected salary increases for 2020 for all levels of staff, as reported by 85 companies, ranged from 3.5% to 3.6.

Starting salaries for fresh graduates The study also found that for starting monthly salary for fresh graduates, the lowest average was recorded in the sales sector at HK$10,625 for Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) school leavers.

The highest figure reported was an average of HK$17,500 in the engineering sector function for Master’s degree or above graduates. In general, the starting salaries for fresh graduates were higher than those of the last year.

Workforce mobility Employee Turnover The overall average turnover rate ranged from 10.5% to 30.7% for the survey period. As a rule, the higher the staff level, the lower the turnover rate. Pay and career/promotion prospect were ranked as the top two reasons for employee turnover.


Among 97 participating companies, 24 reported redundancy – representing 24.7% of surveyed companies. A total of 361 employees were made redundant. The main reason cited was restructuring.

The logistics & transportation sector retrenched the largest number of employees, accounting for 33.8% of total retrenchments (122 out of 361), followed by the real estate & property management sector, with 94 employees retrenched, or 26.0%, of the total retrenchments.

Employee benefits

The percentage of companies offering fully paid Examination Leave and birthday leave to all levels of staff were higher than last year. The number of days of full-paid examination leave offered to different staff levels ranged from 3.7 to 4.2 days whereas birthday leave is on an average of 1.0 day.

Incentive schemes

A total of 73.2% participating companies revealed that they offered incentive schemes to employees. The variable bonus pool was the most popular scheme for all levels of staff, followed by the guaranteed bonus. The latter offered to different employee levels was at 1.0 month whereas the variable bonus pool ranged from 1.1 to1.7 months. A company’s business performance was the most important criterion for providing variable bonus.

The survey was a joint effort conducted by the Centre for Human Resources Strategy and Development of School of Business of Hong Kong Baptist University, the Research Centre for the Human Resources Management of School of Business Administration of South China University of Technology and the Hong Kong People Management Association.

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