Published: 19:28, May 21, 2024
Jobsdb: HK’s average salary rose 3.2%
By Liu Yifan

Pedestrians use a crossing in Hong Kong's Central district on Jan 29, 2024. (SHAMIM ASHRAF / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong’s job market saw a 3.2 percent average pay rise in 2024, down 0.9 percentage points from last year, according to employment platform Jobsdb.

In its latest “Jobseeker Salary Report 2024” released on Tuesday, the findings show that 57 percent of respondents received a salary raise, a 4-percentage-point drop from 2023.

According to the Census and Statistics Department, the average salary for all selected industries rose by 3.8 percent in December 2023 over a year earlier.

As a result of external economic factors, individuals with skills and expertise are cautious about the job market this year. More than 36 percent of them expressed pessimism, anticipating a lengthier job search compared to 2023.

Around 40 percent of participants in the survey showed a keen interest in pursuing job opportunities outside Hong Kong with the Chinese mainland emerging as one of the primary choices for local workers seeking employment beyond the city, marking the first time in five years this has happened

However, there has been a fall in the number of people considering quitting without having another job lined up.

ALSO READ: Survey: HK employees to see 3.3% salary rise in 2024

The survey, which polled 3,391 individuals in Hong Kong from February through March, found that the “analytics” position maintained its lead in salary increments of 7.2 percent, indicating strong demand for talent in this field.

The survey findings indicate a notable concern on the careers’ outlook, with 36 percent of respondents expressing uncertainty over job prospects, an increase of 19 percentage points.

Workers are being cautious in the short term, as only 24 percent have plans to switch jobs within the next three months, a decrease of 13 percentage points.

“After the significant rebound following the end of the pandemic last year, the employment market in 2024 has maintained stable levels in terms of average salary increments and bonuses,” said Bill Lee, managing director of Jobsdb in Hong Kong.

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“However, we have observed a significant shift in workers’ expectations regarding job prospects, leading to a more cautious approach toward job changes. Nonetheless, those considering a ‘wait-and-see’ approach during this period should not remain idle. It is crucial for workers to remain proactive in monitoring employment market trends and continuously upskilling to bolster their competitiveness,” Lee said.

Around 40 percent of participants in the survey showed a keen interest in pursuing job opportunities outside Hong Kong with the Chinese mainland emerging as one of the primary choices for local workers seeking employment beyond the city, marking the first time in five years this has happened.

According to the report, 37 percent of respondents expressed a preference for the mainland, ranking it second after Australia, with Singapore taking third place.

Among those aged 25 or younger, 45 percent said they would choose the Chinese mainland as their top nonlocal work destination.

READ MORE: HK employees receive average salary raise of 3.5%

Notwithstanding workers’ willingness to explore opportunities outside the city, there seems to be a lack of adequate channels in the market to fulfill the demand for nonlocal job information, Lee noted.

The surveyed full-time employees in Hong Kong have an average workweek of 46.6 hours, exceeding the recommended 40 hours set by the International Labour Organization.

There is increasing desire among Hong Kong workers for a better work-life balance, as 65 percent of respondents express their hope for a “four-day or 4.5-day workweek”. Additionally, 56 percent are willing to extend their daily work hours in exchange for a four-day workweek, allowing them to spend more time with loved ones.