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Industries with the highest pay raises and cuts in SEA last year, for 2024's salary planning

Industries with the highest pay raises and cuts in SEA last year, for 2024's salary planning

All markets surveyed, including Malaysia, saw salaries stabilising significantly in 2023, compared to the year before.

As we move forward into 2024, the importance of a clear compensation strategy is undeniable. Salary transparency matters, after all; 49% of jobseekers surveyed in Malaysia want to know the salary before they apply.

As a guide in your planning, JobStreet's Salary Guide 2023, compiled from latest data, analyses and compares salaries to help companies attract the right talent.

Overall salaries in 2023 stabilised significantly compared to the year before; all markets surveyed in the salary report (i.e, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Hong Kong) only experienced salary fluctuations in small percentage of their job ads.

Zooming in to salary changes by industry in Malaysia, marketing & advertising job ads showed a net decrease of 2.21% in salary, while the transportation sector saw a 1.39% net increase. The industries which recorded the highest pay cuts in Malaysia are as follows:

  • Marketing & advertising (-2.21%)
  • Beauty, health, and fitness (-1.55%)
  • Insurance (-1.03%)
  • Consumer goods (-0.63%)
  • Entertainment (-0.39%)

Conversely, the industries with the highest pay raises were: 

  • Transportation (1.39%)
  • Healthcare (0.53%)
  • Construction and building (0.34%)
  • Science and technology (0.23%)
  • Chemicals (0.15%)

By specialisation, only two specialisations job ads experienced a net decrease in salary adjustments: admin/human resources and hotel/restaurant sectors. On the other hand, the accounting/finance and services sectors saw an upward trend.

For an overview, among the top industries with increased salaries taking into account the role, agriculture flourished in junior executive positions. 

malaysia industry increase salary

On the other end, salaries in the F&B industry experienced salary drops across all position levels except for senior managers, with the most significant salary drop occurring in this industry too for senior executives.

malaysia industry decrease salary


Meanwhile, Singapore experienced a "remarkable rebound" across several industries. Particularly, the tech sector grew about 5% annually over the past five years, which added an average of 9,000 new jobs yearly. Moreover, the retail sector experienced a 3.6% year-on-year increase in retail sales as of April 2023, while the manufacturing sector generated 4,400 new jobs in the first half of 2023. 

To note, the banking & finance industry saw a 10-34% increase in salaries, particularly at levels below senior management. At the same time, the industry noted a 68% surge in job advertisements, post-pandemic.

Overall, salaries of Singapore's top industries in 2023 were as follows: 

singapore salary top industries1

singapore salary top industries2


Thailand's salary landscape remained stable in 2023, with no significant changes observed. Per the study, salary levels remained consistent and stable, indicating a steady job market in the country.

Particular increases were noted in the electrical/electronics industry, which saw greater value placed on manager roles. The project manager role experienced a salary increase of 53.9%.

thailand top industry with increase

Of those industries that experienced no change in salary, retail & trade had the highest number of job ads. Lastly, there was a decrease in salaries in the computer/IT industry sector for roles such as client solutions analyst and associate, with an overall drop of 21.4%.

thailand top industry with decrease 


Salaries in Indonesia remained largely stable in 2023; the fluctuation of job ads with changed salaries stayed within 3%, with the exception of media & advertising, marketing & advertising, and MICE. This could be attributed to businesses streamlining operating costs, indirectly impacting marketing spends which are sometimes deemed non-essential costs. 

The industries with the highest pay cuts in Indonesia are as follows:

  • MICE (-7.77%)
  • Marketing and advertising (-5.27%)
  • Media and advertising (-4.94%)
  • Apparel and textiles (-2.41%)
  • Others (-1.12%)

The top pay raises by industry were observed in: 

  • Travel and tourism (3.90%)
  • Telecommunication (2.22%)
  • Entertainment (2.16%)
  • Computer/IT (0.93%)
  • Agriculture (0.90%)

Insurance was noted as the most promising industry for an increased salary, with three position levels showing increased salaries. However, the highest salary increase was noted for managers in the travel & tourism industry, at 19.1%, due to growing demand for their roles, such as branch managers and sales manager.

indonesia industry increase salary

On the other end of the spectrum, computer/IT was the industry most at risk, with four position levels showing decreased salaries, including the position level riskiest among all industries – senior managers (28.8%).

Lead image / 123rf
Body images / JobStreet Salary Guide 2023

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