Photo of Indian IT workers at Changi Business Park from TMG

International recruitment firm Robert Walters published their annual Global Salary Survey yesterday (Jan 19) revealing that most Singapore workers will not see a pay hike this year. The managing director of Robert Walters Southeast Asia said:

“Singapore’s situation is what I would call relatively neutral at the moment. There are some really bright spots and there are some areas that are in a little bit of duress… Even with the global economic and political uncertainty, Singapore will experience moderate levels of recruitment in 2017. Hiring activity this year will likely be focused on industries with a heavy IT and digital focus.”

According to the report, it was said that basic salaries for most industries will not see a pay rise, with the exception for information technology and digital marketing – the two industries mostly hiring foreigners. Singapore’s IT industry is reportedly overcrowded with Indian expats, with Singaporeans being minority.

The report also revealed that the shortage of professionals with niche skills is the primary factor pushing salaries up:

“Due to the shortage of professionals with niche specialist skills, especially in markets such as IT, digital marketing and financial services, we recommend that employers keep their options open by considering high-potential candidates with transferable skills to fill their roles.

We anticipate that the IT job market will continue to experience high levels of recruitment, especially with the Singapore National Research Foundation’s plans to boost the local start-up ecosystem. As more traditional firms shift from traditional retail to e-commerce, this will drive very high demand for technology professionals with experience in developing the latest technologies and platforms.”

With a zero pay hike, Singapore workers are still likely to leak value of their salaries to yearly inflation.