8.8% salary hikes expected for 2014

Updated: 2014-01-27 02:24

By Fan Feifei (China Daily)

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Salary increases are expected to hit 8.8 percent in 2014, a slight rise on the 8.6 percent for 2013, according to a survey issued by 51job.com, a human resources service provider.

More than 3,400 enterprises and 4,600 employees were interviewed in the survey from September to November 2013, covering sectors including real estate, high-tech, consumer products and manufacturing.

8.8% salary hikes expected for 2014 

An enterprise recruitment representative introduces employment opportunities to job seekers at a job fair in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, on Thursday. ZHANG HAIYAN / FOR CHINA DAILY 

It found that the highest salary increases occurred in the financial sector, reaching 10.4 percent, followed by real estate (10.1 percent), high tech (9.9 percent) and bio-pharmaceuticals (9.2 percent).

Feng Lijuan, chief consultant at 51job.com said that "the salary increase reflects that the demand for expertise in these industries is great, but suitable and qualified people are in short supply, so the competition in these industries is fierce".

She added that those industries need professional expertise. The people employed there should be highly educated with a master's or higher degree, must have specific knowledge and skills and an international perspective and experience. However, it is difficult to find workers with all those attributes.

Those industries are willing to offer high salaries to hire suitable employees, Feng said.

The report indicated that because of the nation's policy support for the financial industry, such as the Shanghai free-trade zone and the development of local banks, the demand for financial expertise is larger and skilled people have more opportunities, so it is inevitable that salaries in the field will rise.

Liu Shanshan, 27, who works at a bank, said the workload was heavy and tiring and she often has to work overtime. "The salary increase did not meet my expectations, so I quit my job," she said.

Salary increases in the high-tech sector are expected to increase by 0.8 percentage points in 2014 from 2013, the highest growth among the surveyed sectors.

Xu Yuanyuan, the senior public relations manager of Sina, one of China's largest Internet companies, said in recent years more enterprises have entered the Internet field and more graduates started their own businesses.

The demand for talent and expertise in this field is huge, Xu said.

"Talent has become the core of competitiveness of a company. Salary increases are useful to retain and motivate employees, and are also a method of recognizing the employee's contribution to a company."

Xu said competition in the high-tech sector will become more intense in the future and the threshold for qualified professionals will be higher.

Although enterprises try to increase salaries to retain expertise, the attrition rate reached 16.3 percent in 2013, from 16.7 percent in 2012, according to the report.

The traditional service and manufacturing industries have the highest attrition rates, of 19.4 percent and 19.1 percent.

The report explained these industries are labor-intensive and recruiting standards are low.

Meanwhile, according to another report conducted by Hays, a British headhunting company, the average pay increase in China is higher than in other countries in Asia.

The survey showed that about 54 percent of Chinese employers said their salary increase will reach 6 to 10 percent, and 12 percent of employers said their pay rise will exceed 10 percent.

However, throughout Asia, only 22 percent of employees would receive a salary increase of 6 to 10 percent.

In Singapore most employees saw an increase of 3 to 6 percent in their salary and in Japan, 80 percent of employees only got a 3 percent pay increase.

The survey interviewed 2,600 companies in Asia covering sales, marketing, engineering, human resources, accounting and finance.

Christine Wright, the head of operations for Hays in Asia said in the report that cities in China like Beijing and Shanghai still attract many financial institutions, banks, and companies in the service industry, and this leads to the demand for specialized talent in these fields.