81% of employees saw pay hike last year: MOM

The proportion of employees who saw pay hike last year rose to 81%, up from 78% in 2017, as the economy and labour market improved. According to findings from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Total wages (including employer Central Provident Fund contributions) in the private sector grew 4.6% in 2018, higher than the 3.8% in 2017.

Growth in real total wages - which accounts for inflation of 0.4 per cent - also picked up again after two consecutive years of slowing down. They rose by 4.2 per cent on average last year, up from 3.2% in the prior year.

The average wage increase was also higher in 2018 (5.8%) compared to 2017 (5.1%). However, the average wage cuts further dipped to 4.3% from the 3.9% decline in 2017.

As a result of improved profitability, the proportion of establishments that raised their employees’ total wages in 2018 increased to 67% from 65% in 2017.  The proportion of establishments that cut total wages also fell to 9% in 2018 from 12% in 2017.

However, for workers who received pay cuts in 2018, the average wage cut was higher in 2018 (-4.3%) compared to 2017 (-3.9%).  

Sector-wise, wages in the financial & insurance services and professional services posted the highest growth. The manufacturing, food & beverage services and retail trade saw moderated wage growth.