Annual wage increase in Hong Kong ranges from 1.3% to 2.1%: survey

Hong Kong’s annual wage increase over the past year has ranged from 1.3 to 2.1 percent, far lower than the 5.2 to 6 percent for cities in Guangdong, according to a survey.

The survey, conducted between July 2020 and June 2021 by the Center for Human Resource Strategy and Development at Hong Kong Baptist University along with other institutions in Hong Kong and the mainland, also predicted that the increase wages in Hong Kong next year would be between 1.9 and 2.4%, down from 5.3%. 5.8% for cities in Guangdong.

The data was collected from 302 companies, 94 of which are based in Hong Kong, and covered around 224,000 employees.

“The reason why the wage increase in Hong Kong is lower than the previous year may be due to the pandemic. Companies have been more cautious when raising wages as future developments are uncertain,” said Felix Yip Wai-kwong, associate director of CHRSD.

He added that the wage increase next year could be higher than expected if the pandemic subsides and cross-border travel resumes.

The survey also put the average employee attrition rate in Hong Kong at between 8.8 and 22.6 percent, with promotion opportunities and unsatisfactory salaries being the main reasons for employee departures.

“Emigration is also one of the factors for losing employees, but Hong Kong is a city with a high level of fluidity, so many of those who left may come back in the future,” said Ray Leung Wai. -kai, vice president of the People Management Association of Hong Kong.

Leung also said that the starting salary for a university graduate in Hong Kong this year ranges from 14,000 to 17,000 HK dollars, higher than 5,000 to 7,000 yuan (6,083 to 8,516 HK dollars). for those in Guangdong.

“But as the mainland is developing rapidly, new graduates from the mainland will be promoted faster than those from Hong Kong. It may take 10 years for Hong Kong graduates to be promoted to manager, while mainland graduates only need five years,” Leung said.

The survey found that the three industries with the highest starting salary are engineering at HK$17,200, information technology at HK$16,200, and accounting at HK$15,500.

Yip advised Hong Kong graduates who want to work on the mainland to develop more skills and interpersonal networks to increase their competitiveness.

William M. Mayer