Slight wage increase this year; pay of lower skilled workers likely to increase: Survey

Wages are expected to rise 4.2 per cent this year with the pay of lower skilled workers likely to increase too due to tightened foreign worker policies, a new survey has found.

The good news is because most firms remain "cautiously optimistic" of their business, according to findings by the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) and wage consulting firm Remuneration Data Specialists (RDS).

These sentiments were reflected in moderate wage increases, bonuses and recruitment plans, culled from a poll in June of 147 companies.

The firms include both multi-nationals and small and medium-sized enterprises and are from sectors like manufacturing and services.

In all, workers' total income is projected to rise by 4.2 per cent this year but taking into account inflation at 2 to 3 per cent, workers will see a 1.2 to 2.2 per cent increase in real wages.

However, real wage growth will likely dip slightly to about 1 per cent next year.

More encouragingly, 57 per cent of those surveyed believed that the lower-skilled workers will get higher wages. This is because of tightened foreign worker policies