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Latest Job Seeker Salary Report 2023 by JobsDB

Pay rises for 3 years in a row with 4.1% average pay increase
Over 70% receiving bonus or double pay
Employees dissatisfied with current positions despite improved compensation
Upskilling and employee well-being are key to retaining talent

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  • An average 4.1% pay rise marks a three-year streak of increase and the highest increase in the past four years
  • 61% full-time employees reported receiving a pay rise, a significant increase from 53% last year. The best hikes enjoyed by 3 top sectors: "Analytics" (+9.7%), "Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, and Social Media" (+7.3%) and "Information Technology" (+6.6%)
  • 76% of respondents received bonus or double pay in 2023, reaching a four-year high
  • Respondents showed a positive outlook on employment prospects, with 83% staying neutral or optimistic, up 23 percentage points from previous year
  • 80% of the respondents indicated that they maintain an open attitude towards new opportunities, up 4 percentage point from the previous year
  • In the post-pandemic period, 94% of respondents report that their work stress has persisted and even increased.

HONG KONG, June 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- JobsDB, the leading employment marketplace by SEEK, released its latest "Job Seeker Salary Report 2023", marking a three-year streak of pay rises. Average pay rise in 2023 recorded 4.1%, the highest increase in the past four years, maintaining its trend of outpacing inflation.

The report is based on online survey responses from 3,797 local employees sampled between February and March 2023. According to the survey, more than 75% of the respondents received double pay and/or bonuses, a 4-percentage point increase from the previous year, indicating an overall improvement in the job market.

More than 60% of full-time employees receive pay increases, outstripping last year as the employment market bounces back

As the employment market grows stronger, 61% of full-time employees received pay rises, representing a significant increase from last year's figure of 53%. The proportion of salary freezes (35%) and pay cuts (4%) also decreased by 6 percentage points and 2 percentage points respectively since last year. More than 76% of surveyed employees received bonuses and double pay, with an overall average of 1.4 months' bonus, similar to previous year.

Digital-related talent remains in high demand, with "Analytics" (+9.7%), "Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, and Social Media" (+7.3%) and "Information Technology" (+6.6%) claiming the highest pay rises among all job functions. It is noteworthy that front-line workers who were most affected by the pandemic are finally experiencing positive growth. "Food and Beverage", "Retail Sales" and "Hospitality and Tourism" have recorded a salary increase of 0.6%, 1.2% and 3.2% respectively.

Salary and bonus increases have failed to satisfy employees, with only 17% young workers indicating no intention to change jobs in the near future

Despite employers being more generous this year with salary and bonus paychecks compared to the past two years, employees' satisfaction with salary adjustments has only marginally increased by 0.01 percentage point from last year. Only 30% of respondents who received bonuses reported being "satisfied" or "very satisfied," a clear drop from 37% in the previous year, suggesting that employees have higher hopes for salary and benefits this year.

Meanwhile, as the pandemic fades, as many as 83% of respondents are neutral to positive about the employment market, up 23 percentage point from last year. As a result of the job market recovery, workers are more ambitious than in past years, seeking more compensation and benefits through job changes. 80% of respondents are open to exploring greater possibilities elsewhere; workers aged 26-30 are the most aggressive, with up to 43% wanting to jump ship in the next three months. 79% of the respondents predict a higher salary in their new positions, up 5 percentage point compared to last year. Employees' expected job search period has also shortened from 5.6 months to 4.8 months, with more than 30% expecting to secure a new job within two months.

According to the survey, the top three factors pushing employees to seek new jobs are "Dissatisfied with salary or benefit" (41%), "Seek for higher pay (even at same rank) in new job" (40%), and "Discontent with company culture or management style" (36%). On the other hand, employees who are willing to stay in their current positions expressed "satisfaction with their current workload or working hours" (42%), "Enjoy a good relationship with current supervisors or co-workers" (38%), and being "Satisfied with the salary and other benefits" (33%), marking a major shift from hesitation towards job change amidst market uncertainty in previous years.

Working conditions deteriorate as employees are increasingly stressed and the expectation gap between employers and employees widens

The pandemic has placed additional work pressure on Hong Kong workers over the last three years, and even as the post-pandemic era begins, their stress levels have yet to subside. 51% of the respondents stated that their work stress has not lessened in the post-pandemic period while 43% believe it has grown. "Increasing workload" (65%), "heavier financial burden" (35%), and "uncertainties about their career path" (30%) are the top three causes of work stress, all of which have a significant influence on employees' well-being, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.

Two-thirds of respondents said their employers gradually rolled out measures to help employees balance work and life, but the implementations did not meet their expectations. The top three measures with the greatest discrepancy between employers and employees are "4-day/4.5-day workweek" with a 44% need gap (meaning that 68% of respondents expect this welfare, but only 24% of respondents' companies provide match the need), "well-being leave / flexible leave" with a 20% gap, and "flexible working hours" with a 16% gap.

Additionally, since the pandemic, flexible work arrangement has gained appeal amongst employees as a way to save commute time, create personal downtime, and achieve higher job efficiency. According to the report, 68% of respondents prefer hybrid or remote work, yet only 32% of businesses have implemented and maintained relevant work policies, a substantial decrease from 69% in 2022. The observation suggests that some businesses are returning to the "old normal" of working in an office, a far cry from the work arrangements that employees desire.

Improving employee well-being and providing upskilling opportunities are key to retaining talent

Aside from their work environment, physical and mental health, one of the major concerns of employees is improving their competitiveness. Employers who provide appropriate upskill training are highly desirable to more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents, with 75% prioritizing acquiring job-related hard skills and professional knowledge training, and 55% valuing soft skills training. According to the report, the most desired hard skills training is "professional certification" (50%), followed by "data analysis" (36%) and "language skills" (32%). In terms of soft skills training, the most sought-after areas are "leadership and management skills" (81%) and "interpersonal and communication skills" (66%).

Bill Lee, Managing Director of JobsDB Hong Kong, believes that providing upskilling opportunities and respecting work-life balance will be critical in retaining talent in the future. "In the post-pandemic era, employees are facing an increased workload, leading to a rise in work pressure and even causing work-related physical and mental fatigue. Once employees lose balance between work and life, coupled with a widening gap on benefits and compensation expectations, they can become dissatisfied with their current position and decide to seek external career opportunities. Therefore, in order to retain talent, employers should consider strengthening employee well-being benefits and enhancing employees' sense of belonging."

Bill Lee added: "The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation, resulting in an increased demand for digital skills. The intensifying 'skills mismatch' situation means that on-the-job training is becoming more important for both employers and employees. Over 90% of entry-level workers even view it as an appealing benefit. Employers providing skills training can not only offer employees more diverse career opportunities and help retain talent, but also fill internal skill gaps more quickly. This enables employees to develop alongside the company's business, creating a win-win situation."

For more information about "Job Seeker Salary Report 2023", please visit:

About JobsDB by SEEK

JobsDB is the leading employment platform in Hong Kong and Thailand, helping people live more fulfilling and productive working lives and helping organisations succeed. It is a subsidiary of SEEK, a diverse group of companies comprised of a strong portfolio of online employment, educational, commercial and volunteer businesses. SEEK is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and has a strong presence across the APAC region, including six Asian markets – Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – through the JobStreet and JobsDB brands. SEEK attracts over 500 million visits a year in Asia

Issued on behalf of the JobsDB Group (Hong Kong) by MSL.

Source: JobsDB by SEEK

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