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Double-digit wage increases slowing, says study

THE days of double-digit salary increases may be coming to an end as employers look to rein in the strong wage growth of the last three years and offer non-financial incentives to attract and retain employees, says a study.

The 2015 Robert Half Salary Guide for Singapore said wage increases for employees in three areas - finance and accounting, banking and financial services, and technology - are likely to be below 10 per cent, compared to previous years' increments.

While wage growth is slowing, the number of companies making new hires is increasing and is now at its highest level in three years, said the report.

Half of all companies surveyed plan to raise headcount in the first half of the year.

Two years ago this percentage was closer to a third.

The most significant increase in hiring activity is for technology professionals. Two years ago, 26 per cent of companies were looking to employ more IT staff, compared with 50 per cent this year.

In the banking and financial services sector, employment activity has risen steadily in the last two years, with companies seeking to fill mid-level and senior positions.

In the finance and accounting sector there is also a growing demand across companies for accounting as well as compliance professionals.

Compared to other regional financial centres, Singapore is among the most active hiring markets for accounting and finance professionals, behind China (59 per cent) and on par with Hong Kong (53 per cent).

The guide covers four markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Shanghai.

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