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Bigger but unequal pay gains seen for ’08

(SINGAPORE) With the economy still hot and workers harder to come by, bigger pay hikes are expected in the coming year. But not everyone will get an equal share of the bounty, according to a recent poll of 126 companies by human resource services firm Hewitt Associates.

The survey showed that salaries will rise by an average 5 per cent in 2008, up from 4.7 per cent this year.

But it is the professionals, supervisors and managers who are likely to see their pay rise by 5 per cent or more next year. The wages of manual workers and general employees are projected to increase by less than 5 per cent.

Senior and junior managers as well as supervisors and professionals are expected to get a raise of 5.1 per cent on average in 2008, up from 4.8 and 4.9 per cent in their respective categories this year. By comparison, manual workers’ salaries are tipped to go up 4.2 per cent. They were given a raise of 3.7 per cent this year.

Employees higher up the corporate ladder are also likely to be rewarded with higher merit increases, which are projected to average 4.6 per cent for all workers, against 4 per cent in 2007, according to the Hewitt poll. Top executives are expected to take home merit increases averaging 4.8 per cent, marginally higher than this year’s 4.7 per cent.

Manual workers, again at the bottom of the payout scale, are likely to get a merit raise of 3.7 per cent in 2008, compared to 3 per cent in 2007. Those in the manufacturing sector will be better off again in the pay hikes next year, with most expected to receive a raise of 5 per cent, up slightly from 4.9 per cent in 2007.

According to the poll, employees in the electronic and electrical industries will enjoy the highest pay increase in 2008 – 6.7 per cent, up from 6.2 per cent this year. But those in the consumer products-non durable goods sector are likely to see their pay rise slip a little, from 6.3 per cent in 2007 to 6.2 per cent.

But their counterparts in the industrial machinery and equipment sector are likely to see increments of barely 4 per cent.

The telecommunications industry is likely to be among the least generous again. It has budgeted for a pay increase of 4 per cent, still an improvement over 2007, when salaries rose only 3.4 per cent.


Source: Business Times 19 Nov 07


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