Virtually every worker in Singapore is looking to a pay increase next year, even though some are unsure about the job market's strength, according to the latest survey by recruitment firm Berkley Group.
With 99 per cent of the 737 employees polled in Singapore expecting a raise of some sort, the Singapore-based company says the number is one of the highest recorded in its survey.
It is up 29 per cent from Berkley's last survey in March and up 37 per cent from the survey a year ago.
"This figure is indicative of an increasing number of organisations rethinking retention programmes in this area, as well as employees being given more responsibility," the report noted. "This growth in pay is also reflective of the rising cost of living in the region."
The results of the latest survey, which is into its ninth year, come a week after the Monetary Authority of Singapore warned that the labour market here will tighten and wage growth will be strong.
The central bank projected pay to rise more than the historical average of 3.3 per cent per annum this year and next. Inflation is tipped to increase 2.5 to 3 per cent this year.
Berkley's report also notes that the increase in salary expectations cuts across nearly all the major industries and is in line with similar sentiments in most countries. Nine in 10 of the global respondents to the survey are expecting a pay rise next year, up 47 per cent a year ago for 2013.
Only workers in the information technology sector are seeing a pay cut.
Surprisingly, 42 per cent of the employees polled in Singapore, up 6 per cent from the previous survey, feel the job market is weak. It is also higher than the global average of 36 per cent.
The report says this is perhaps indicative "of uncertainty as a result of recent employment legislation changes".
While 72 per cent of the workers here indicate that their business is doing the same or better than last year, only 40 per cent of them are more confident of the general business performance.
"There is still a level of scepticism in the country," says Wendy Cheong, managing director of Berkley Singapore. "It would appear this level of caution is also leading to the perception of a weaker job market."
But sentiment in general appears to be increasingly positive - and this is likely to continue in 2014.
Over half - 58 per cent - of the employees polled in Singapore report "an increase in roles within their business", up 17 per cent on 2013's figures and higher than the global average of 54 per cent. Job hopping, the sign of a tight labour market, stays high with 58 per cent of the workers polled planning to make a career move in the next six months.
The number, skewed towards the pharmaceutical industry, is lower than the 75 per cent in the previous survey. But it's still above the global average of 51 per cent.