Hays survey expects more, better-paid Chinese jobs in 2017

Well over half of employers plan to raise salaries in 2017 by at least 6pc. But 97pc say they still find it hard to find enough skilled workers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 February, 2017, 4:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 February, 2017, 10:34pm

More over half of employers in China, 56 per cent, plan to raise salaries in 2017 by at least 6 per cent as signs emerge that the economy is on a firmer footing, an international industry survey revealed on Friday.

Britain-based recruiting consultancy firm Hays says 45 per cent of Chinese employers expected to increase salaries between 6 and 10 per cent, the highest rises in Asia for the third year running.

This year’s 56 per cent figure is unchanged from last year and compares with 63 per cent in 2015.

About 49 per cent of employers in China expect to increase their permanent headcount, up five percentage points from a year ago. However, 11 per cent said they planned to cut their payrolls, down from 14 per cent, while 41 per cent said they expected headcounts to remain unchanged.

The global recruitment firm conducted the survey from August to October among more than 3,000 employers in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, who collectively employ six million staff, across 1,200 roles.

The disparity between the salary expectations of Chinese workers and what employers are offering remains this year.

The survey found 11 per cent of employers in China will be awarded more than 10 per cent rises, while 51 per cent of employees surveyed said they are expecting a rise more than that.

But a startling 97 per cent of employers said they are still struggling to find the required skilled individuals they need, and the situation is worsening, said Christine Wright, managing director of Hays in Asia.

“The ability to attract and retain the best talent always provides a company with a competitive advantage. But in 2017 with skill shortages persisting and significant changes and challenges on the horizon, it is more important than ever,” she added.

China’s economy expanded 6.8 per cent in the final quarter of last year, up from 6.7 per cent in the first three quarters respectively, official data shows.

That annual growth of 6.7 per cent last year marked the country’s slowest growth in 26 years but was still within the official target range.

Last month New York-listed Zhaopin, a major online Chinese careers platform, carried out research with the China Institute for Employment Research (CIER) at Renmin University which showed the national labour market maintained its upward trend in the last quarter of 2016, with the CIER employee index reaching its highest level since the first quarter of 2015, clearly illustrating a strong market for job seekers.

Recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, however, painted a bleaker picture in its Global Salary Survey 2017, also released in January, which showed employers in Hong Kong and China are likely to slow their hiring plans this year, with major job freezes in the financial industry and a growing preference for contract employment.