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Top Asian countries with the biggest wage gap between entry and senior level jobs

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Recent research has found there is a 15.3% increase of pay gaps between entry- and senior-level jobs across Asia, moderately behind Europe (+1.6%), Australia and New Zealand (+6.5%), North America (+9.0%) and Latin America (+12.5%).

Eight out of nine Asian countries managed to keep the growth of the widening pay gap under 15%. India saw by far the biggest surge in average salary discrepancy of those surveyed at 66.0%.

Ranking: Asian countries which experienced the smallest growth of pay gap between entry and senior level jobs since 2008

  1. Hong Kong (2.2%)
  2. China (2.6%)
  3. South Korea (4.3%)
  4. Thailand (9.3%)
  5. Japan (9.7%)
  6. Singapore (12.1%)
  7. Indonesia (12.7%)
  8. Malaysia (14.7%)
  9. India (66.0%)

“At the lower end of these labour markets, automation and offshoring means that enhanced productivity results in an abundance of available labour – more people than jobs – which slows the increases in pay,” said Bob Wesselkamper, Korn Ferry global head of rewards and benefits solutions.

“Meanwhile, at the higher end, there’s a shortage of people with important hard skills and proven experience, such as STEM. Organisations also have to compete for senior managers with in-demand soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, creative thinking and the ability to manage large and complex teams. Therefore, pay at this level is going up – and is likely to increase faster than other j

For countries where the gap narrowed or stayed the same, local factors play an important role. For example, in France and Italy (which experienced -5.8% and -3.1% respectively), the tax levels of top earners were raised higher, and government’s discussion towards minimum wage requirements and restrictions were constantly influenced by the union.

Ranking: Countries with a reduced pay gap between entry and senior level jobs since 2008

  1. Romania (-18.8%)
  2. Venezuela (-18.1%)
  3. Latvia (-17.1%)
  4. Lithuania (-16.8%)
  5. Poland (-13.4%)
  6. Luxembourg and France (-5.8%)
  7.  Austria (-4.1%)
  8. Switzerland (-3.7%)
  9. Italy (-3.1%)
  10. Russian Federation (-3.0%)
  11. Hungary (-2.6%)
  12. Argentina (-2.0%)

The pay gap was calculated by dividing the typical pay for people at senior management levels in each country by the typical pay for people at entry-level positions. The result was then compared with the equivalent result from 2008, with the difference being calculated as a percentage figure. Fifty-eight countries are included in this analysis.

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