HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Workers rejoice: average wage rate up 1.2% in March

Payroll per person also inched up 1.3%.

Hong Kong workers have one more reason to celebrate as average wage rate, which includes basic wages, guaranteed allowances and bonuses, rose 1.2% YoY in March, according to the Census & Statistics Department.

Also read: Civil service workers to enjoy pay rise for 2018-19

About 68% of companies reported an increase in average wage rates in March compared to the 27% of firms which posted lower average salaries. The remaining 5% reported no change in average wage rates.

Payroll per person also rose 1.3% YoY in real terms which were particularly seen in the accommodation and food service industries as well as real estate sector. Payroll includes irregular payments like discretionary bonuses and overtime allowances. Generous payroll rises

“Overall nominal wages registered a slightly faster year-on-year increase in March 2018, on the back of robust economic growth and the progressive tightening of the labour market over the past year. Wages of lower-paid workers continued to see more appreciable growth,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.

A report by consultant Korn Ferry forecasts that Hong Kong firms may add another $40,539 to the salaries of highly skilled individual workers by 2030 in an effort to retain in-demand workers amidst a undersupply of manpower. 

Also read: Workers enjoy 5.7% higher salaries in 2018 but also suffer longer working hours

Faced with a limited manpower, Hong Kong could expect salary premiums equivalent to more than 10% of their 2017 GDP, as companies continue to beef up payrolls. Pay premiums are what employers may have to pay over and above the amount that sarlies would rise over time due to normal inflation. 

“Whilst overall wage increases are just keeping pace with inflation, salaries for in-demand workers will skyrocket if companies choose to compete for the best and brightest on salary alone,” Bob Wesselkamper, Global Head of Korn Ferry Rewards and Benefits Solutions in a statement.  

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