Guangdong beats HK on salary increases
Hong Kong's annual salary increase in the past year ranged from 1.3 to 2.1 percent - much lower than the 5.2 to 6 percent for Guangdong cities, a survey has found.
The survey, conducted between July 2020 and June 2021 by the Hong Kong Baptist University's Centre for Human Resources Strategy and Development with other Hong Kong and mainland institutions, also predicted Hong Kong's salary increase next year to be between 1.9 to 2.4 percent, compared to 5.3 to 5.8 percent for Guangdong cities.
Data was collected from 302 companies, 94 of which are based in Hong Kong, and covered around 224,000 employees.
"The reason for Hong Kong's salary increase being lower than the year before may be due to the pandemic. Companies were more conservative when increasing wages because future developments are uncertain," said Felix Yip Wai-kwong, associate director of the CHRSD.
He added that the salary increase next year may be higher if the pandemic abates and cross-border travel resumes.
The survey also put Hong Kong's average employee loss rate at between 8.8 and 22.6 percent, with unsatisfactory promotion opportunities and salary being the main reasons for employees' departures.
"Emigration is also one of the factors leading to employee loss, but Hong Kong is a city with a high level of fluidity, so many of those who left may return in the future," said Ray Leung Wai-kai, vice president of the Hong Kong People Management Association.
Leung also stated that the starting salary for a Hong Kong university graduate this year ranged from HK$14,000 to HK$17,000, higher than the 5,000 to 7,000 yuan (HK$6,083 to HK$8,516) for those in Guangdong.
"But as the mainland is rapidly developing, fresh graduates in the mainland will be promoted more quickly than those in Hong Kong. It can take Hong Kong graduates 10 years to be promoted to manager, while mainland graduates will only need five," Leung said.
The survey found that the three industries with the highest starting salaries are engineering at HK$17,200, information technology at HK$16,200 and accounting at HK$15,500.
Yip advised Hong Kong graduates who wish to work in the mainland to develop more skills and interpersonal networks to increase competitiveness.