SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Singaporean managers and senior staff can prepare for 5 per cent pay increases at most this year as the labor market stabilizes.
About 93 per cent of companies in Singapore say they will keep or raise headcount this year, according to a survey by recruitment consultancy Michael Page of almost 450 businesses here. Only 36 per cent said they will recruit new hires.
Singapore's unemployment rate recently hit a six-year high of 2.2 per cent, though the country still remains one of the easiest places in the world to find work.
Across Asia, 48 per cent of the 3,400 companies in the survey said they plan to increase wages by 5 per cent or less, compared with 58 per cent of Singapore-based firms.
"While employers have agreed that salaries are an important retention tool, other popular employee engagement initiatives include opportunities for career progression and learning and development," the consultancy said in a report.
The hot jobs in Singapore are in the digital, technology and health care industries, which is where Singapore's government is pledging more investment. In the less buoyant financial services sector, financial technology jobs should be helped by a funding plan in place to support locally-based firms, according to Michael Page.
The gig economy is also becoming a bigger feature in Singapore's economy: 68 per cent of all companies surveyed are using contractors, especially in technology and business support industries. More companies are adopting strategies such as annual leave, medical benefits and completion bonuses to attract more professional contract workers, said the consultancy.