Increase in average annual salary is expected to be 2.1 percent this year, according to a survey conducted by human resources firm Hewitt Associates.
This figure is lower than last year's average increase of 5 percent, which might not come as a surprise considering economic performance for the first quarter of 2009. A total of 53 companies were surveyed in March, and wages for the hi-tech sector are expected to increase marginally by 1.1 percent. Equally dismal is the expected annual salary increase for senior management, which stands at 1.9 percent. A follow-up survey will be conducted in June, and Hewitt expects figures to go even lower then.
Faring better are companies in the energy sector, which may have a pay increment of 4.1 percent this year. The survey also indicated that more than 70 percent of companies have undertaken compensation cost control measures, with 43 percent implementing some kind of salary freeze.
Companies have also resorted to cost-cutting measures, such as flying staff on economy class or budget airlines, and cutting up to 17 percent in staff training costs. However, a senior consultant at Hewitt suggests that training may not be on the decline, but rather, companies could have learnt to consolidate resources more effectively and stretch their dollar further.
Last but not least, more than 90 percent of companies polled say that they are taking advantage of the government's Jobs Credit Scheme. Ironically, a quarter of these companies admitted to retrenching staff to cut costs.