Payroll & CompensationTalent Acquisition

On the Right Track

From rising compensation to falling unemployment rates, Singapore is on its way to becoming a global powerhouse. 

By Zee Johnson 

Last year, foreigners were feverously looking to join Singapore’s workforce for a chance at increased compensation and better career opportunities.  Now, it seems as though the country has benefitted greatly from the migration.  

Deel’s State of Global Hiring Report revealed that Singapore has the second highest job growth rate in the APAC region by number of organisations hiring, just trailing Australia.  

Karen NG, Deel’s regional head of expansion and market lead, Singapore, ASEAN, India, says that the recruitment of global talent helped the nation reach such a feat and puts them up against the rest of the world. “This in turn allows them to stay competitive and nimble, where they can turn to global hiring to secure in-demand talents like software engineers – of which are sought after by markets around the world, or to retain talent who choose to move abroad,” she said. 

The report lists the top five in-demand jobs in the country. 

  • Virtual assistant 
  • Software engineer 
  • Software developer 
  • Content writer 
  • Business development/sales 

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Lawrence Wong, highlighted the country’s post-COVID progression in his budget speech in early February, detailing a growing economy (3.6%) and dwindling resident unemployment rates (2.8%), which are lower than pre-COVID levels. He also stated that the country’s inflation rate (4.1%) is less than half that of the global rate (9%). 

The Singapore Budget enlists a series of measures to support households by helping families get through the cost-of-living crisis, as well as the recent tax hikes on goods and services. In fact, Wong pledged an additional S$3 billion ($2.26 billion) in funding to help. 

The budget will also support businesses to sustain recent economic growth. This will include initiatives that extend current enhancements to the enterprise financing scheme and energy efficiency grant until March of next year. It will provide working capital loans for local construction projects via project loans. “We will help businesses weather the immediate challenges of tighter financial conditions and higher energy prices,” the Minister said. “We will do more to help promising companies grow into globally leading companies.”  

The government will also be pumping more money into initiatives to grow small- to medium-sized enterprises. “I will set aside an additional S$150 million by the SME Co-investment Fund,” Wong said. “We will use this to invest in promising SMEs and we will also aim to catalyze an additional S$300 million of private investments to support our SMEs.” 

Two-thirds (67%) of Singapore’s employers are now able to offer higher-than-expected salaries in an effort to attract even more workers and 61% are increasing pay to retain their existing staff. For employees, just over half (51%) are expecting their salaries to increase this year, with 65% also expecting some form of bonus. 

Many sectors will see these increases, especially the food services industry, as about 41,000 workers will see their wages increase over the next three years, starting March 1. This comes just as the government accepted the Tripartite Cluster for Food Services’ recommendations on their new Progressive Wage Model, hiking wages to at least $1,750. 

In March 2024, the increase is expected to be at least $1,915 before rising again to at least $2,080 in March 2025. 

So much is happening in Singapore and governmental initiatives are helping companies move quickly and positively toward the future. 

Tags: APAC February 2023, APAC News, compensation, Talent Acquisition

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