Average pay raises by Japanese firms in Singapore to fall to 11-year low: poll

28, Jul. 2020

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

SINGAPORE, NNA – Average salary increases offered by Japanese firms operating in Singapore will fall to an 11-year low due to economic impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a survey found.

The poll by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Singapore showed that average pay hikes will probably slow this year to 2.5 percent from 3.2 percent last year.

That average covers eight sectors, including trade and logistics, construction and property, and finance and insurance. All expect a lower rate of increase this year, according to the survey of 349 chamber members from April 1 to June 12.

“A drop in projected salary increase rates reflects the impacts on their earnings from the novel coronavirus outbreak,” said chamber secretary general Ryosuke Shimizu said.

Japanese companies in Singapore, Southeast Asia’s business and financial hub, are set to squeeze bonuses too, the survey found.

Average bonuses this year for managerial positions are expected to equal a 2.1-month salary, and bonuses for non-managerial positions would be the same as 1.94 months. Both would mark a drop over 2019 levels.

About 30 percent of survey respondents foresee earnings unchanged in 2021 compared to this year, underlining outlooks that economic fallout from the pandemic might linger. Another one third of them said they expect a 1 to 10 percent year-on-year growth in earning next year.

“Various economic indicators have worsened on a blow from the coronavirus outbreak, indicating uncertainties over the future,” said Hideki Saito, managing director of Progress Asia (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., a human-resource consulting agency.