Singapore’s workforce can expect to see at least a 3% increase in their salaries this year, as more employers express their intentions to do so.

According to the 2012 Hays Salary Guide released yesterday, half of local employers intend to increase their employees’ salaries between 3% to 6%, with a further 23% saying they intend to raise salaries by over 6%. This reflects an increase of 44% and 21% rise respectively from employers who held the same intentions last year.

The report, which is based on a survey of over 900 employers across Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Japan, also revealed a slight decline in the percentage of employers intending to offer no salary increments (5%) and salary increments of less than 3% (22%).

With 64% of employers expecting to see an increase in business activities, and 41% expecting an increase in permanent staff levels, candidates with in-demand skills and realistic salary expectations can expect to secure a challenging career move and a salary increase this year, Chris Mead, regional director of Hays in Singapore, said.

However, while there has also been a 3% year-on-year increase in the percentage of employers offering benefits to their staff (81%), only 54% intend to award bonuses of more than 50% - down from 64% last year.

Additionally, skill shortages will also remain an ongoing issue, Mead stressed, noting that almost all (95%) employers believe this will have the potential to hamper the effective operation of their business or development.

Within the region, employees in China can expect to gain the most, as over 80% of employers expect to raise salaries by above 6%. In comparison, only 2% of employers Japan hold the same intention.