Business Prospects/ Wage Increase/ Bonus, Recruitment & Fair Employment Practices

SHRI/ RDS 2011/ 2012 Fax Survey

RDS surveyed 151 companies in Oct 2011 to find out about their business prospects, wage increase, bonus, recruitment plans and also their views on Fair Employment Practices.

Summary on Key Findings

  • The second half of this year has gotten worse for most companies, as expected, but only slightly so. Despite the projection for next year that “economic growth is expected to slow or even stall”, most companies are, surprisingly, quite optimistic. However, they remain somewhat cautious about next year’s wage increases, bonuses and recruitment.
  • The basic wage increase in 2011 averaged 4.1% for the full year, higher than the 3.6% in 2010. For next year 2012, the basic wage increase is expected to drop to 3.6%.
  • Variable bonuses (excluding AWS) averaged 2.2 months, slightly lower than the 2.3 months in 2010. For 2012, they are expected to drop slightly to 1.8 to 2.1 months.
  • The drop in both wage increase and bonus this year means a total wage increase of only 3.4% and with the consumer price index expected to increase by 4% to 5%, there will be a drop in real wages of around 0.6 to 1.6%. For 2012, the total wage increase is expected to be only 1.3% and with inflation expected to be around 2.5% to 3.5%, real wages are likely to drop further by 1.2% to 2.3%.
  • On recruitment, 77% of companies hired staff in 2011 (similar to that in 2010), and for the first half of 2012, only 54% are expected to hire.
  • The retrenchment issue is, however, more encouraging as only 3% of the companies this year retrenched staff, less than the 8% in 2010 and for 2012, the proportion of companies expecting to retrench will drop further to 1%.
  • Staff turnover declined this year and is expected to continue to drop in 2012 from 5% to 8% to 3% to 6% next year.
  • Most entry-level salaries decreased by 1.4% to 8.5% compared to six months ago; the exception was that for university degree holders which increased by 2.0%.
  • On the issue of Fair Employment Practices, many companies probably can not do without foreign workers; 25% of them employ them only as a last resort and 21% are prepared to comply with a foreign workforce quota;
    • Soft skills, willingness to assimilate/upskill and preparedness to stay for longer term career development are what employers seek in candidates and
    • In order to develop Singaporeans, most employers need to enhance their managers’ coaching skills, provide for multi skilling, improve work-life balance and employ mature workers.

For any enquiries, please contact Mr. Sathish by phone at +65 64380012 or email