Bosses cautious on pay rises - except for those in the finance industry
Most workers can expect about 4.4 per cent, study finds, but some industries will do better
Employers remain conservative about pay rises for next year, with increases of about 4.4 per cent predicted, similar to those granted this year, according to a new survey.
Financial companies are the exception, with rises of 7 per cent expected in the first quarter, up from an average 1.3 per cent this year.
The figures have emerged from a survey by the Institute of Human Resource Management of 76 companies, 67 of which said they would adjust pay next year.
"Pay rises for the financial sector have been small in the past two years," institute president Francis Mok Gar-lon said. "There were also major employee cuts in the past year."
He said there would be a need to balance supply and demand of talent after "excessive" lay-offs.
Covering 17 different sectors and including a total of about 114,000 full-time salaried employees, the survey was based on companies' estimates and pay statistics from January to September. This year, construction and retail sectors topped the list with pay rises averaging 6.2 per cent.
Of 38 companies that provided more information to researchers, 37 are budgeting for a general increase in basic pay while one expects no change.
Construction, facing a labour shortage to handle big projects such as the bridge to Macau, is second behind finance, with an expected 5.8 per cent pay rise. It is followed by manufacturing with 5.5 per cent. An increase of 4.1 per cent is estimated for retail.
"The need for construction sector employees continues to rise due to the big projects coming up in the next few years - which is indicated by the pay rise," Mok said.
Companies with 500 to 1,000 employees expect the biggest pay increase - 4.9 per cent - compared to smaller or bigger ones.