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Report on Wage Practices 2017


  1. In 2017, a larger proportion of establishments raised wages.  More employees also received wage increases.  Nominal wage increase was higher than the year before.  However, as inflation turned positive, real wages increased at a moderated pace.  These are the key findings from the “Report on Wage Practices 2017” released by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department, Ministry of Manpower.

    Main Findings

    Nominal wage growth was higher, even though real wage growth moderated

  2. Nominal total wages (including employer CPF contributions) in the private sector grew by 3.8% in 2017, higher than the 3.1% in 2016.  However, after accounting for the change in inflation from -0.5% in 2016 to 0.6% in 2017, real total wage growth was 3.2% in 2017, slightly lower than the 3.6% in 2016. 

    Most industries registered similar or higher wage growth

  3. In most industries, nominal total wage growth in 2017 was maintained at or higher than last year’s levels.  These industries include professional services, accommodation & food services, infocomm, finance & insurance, wholesale & retail trade, and manufacturing.  The exceptions were transportation & storage, administrative & support and real estate.

    Improved profitability benefited more employees through higher wage increases

  4. The proportion of profitable establishments rose in industries such as infocomm, and wholesale & retail trade, but declined in community, social & personal services and construction.  Overall, this led to an increase in the proportion of employees who worked in profitable establishments.  There were also more employees in profitable establishments that performed as well or better than last year. 
  5. Correspondingly, more establishments raised their employees’ total wages in 2017 (65%) compared to 2016 (58%).  The proportion of establishments that cut total wages also fell, from 17% in 2016 to 12% in 2017. 
  6. As a result, the proportion of employees who received wage increases also rose from 75% in 2016 to 78% in 2017.  The average wage increase for this group of employees was higher in 2017 (5.1%) compared to 2016 (4.9%). The proportion of employees who received wage cuts decreased from 13% in 2016 to 10% in 2017. The average wage cut for them was lower in 2017 (-3.9%) compared to 2016 (-5.0%).

    For More Information

  7. The report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower’s statistics website at