Pay rise expectations skyrocket – 56% of Singapore workers expect a salary increase this year

25 April, 2023

  • The new People at Work report shows that in Singapore, salary and monetary compensation are high on employees’ priorities.
  • Besides the pay rise expectation, over 69% of Singapore workers consider salary to be the most important consideration in their jobs.
  • Beyond pay rises, employers should look at alternative ways to offer higher value to employees, such as flexibility.

Singapore – 25 April, Workers’ expectations around the pay rises in the coming year have skyrocketed, reveals the ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View. Globally, more than eight in 10 workers (83%) anticipate getting a salary increase in the next 12 months, either from their existing employer or by moving jobs, according to the survey of over 32,000 workers in 17 countries.
In Singapore, 56% of workers expect a salary increase this year, and 48% expect a bonus.

Singapore Findings

In Singapore, salary and monetary compensation are high on employees’ priorities. Among the countries surveyed in the Asia Pacific region (India, China, Singapore, Australia), Singapore workers are the only employees who consider salary to be their most important priority, at 69%. This percentage is over and above job security considerations, which are the next highest priority for Singaporean workers at 41%.
It is also worth noting that almost half of Singapore workers (45%) feel that they are underpaid in their current roles and over half (52%) are not satisfied with their salary.

Yvonne Teo, Vice President of HR, APAC, ADP, comments: “Employers have a difficult task weighing the clamour for higher pay against their own challenges around rising costs and tightening profit margins. Workers are generally confident that they will get a pay rise from their current company or be able to secure one by moving jobs. The implications for talent acquisition and retention are substantial.”

“As the cost of living soars, workers across lower and middle-income bands have found that their disposable incomes have been severely hit, and even some higher earners are feeling the pinch. Spending on essentials, let alone luxuries, is being tightly squeezed as workers grapple with soaring energy bills, rising rents, increasing interest rates and escalating food bills. Even if inflation has peaked, it looks like it will take some time to return to more comfortable levels.

“Employers who aren’t in a financial position to offer decent pay rises may have to think creatively about how to appease staff in other ways, such as via offering greater flexibility or other benefits.”

Global Findings

On average, workers globally expect a salary increase of 8.3%. However, just over a third of workers (34%) are expecting to get pay rises of 10% or more, and one in 10 (10%) expect more than 15%.

Demands for higher pay come after six in 10 workers (62%) were given a pay rise last year. Those pay rises averaged 6.4%. Given that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) global inflation forecast for 2022 was 8.8%,1 this equates to a real-terms pay cut.

Across the industries, professional services workers and those in the IT/telecommunications sectors have the highest pay rises in their sights next year (at 8.7% on average), while leisure and hospitality staff anticipate the lowest (7.6% on average).

The findings come amid the ongoing cost of living crisis and as workers in many countries demonstrate a willingness to take industrial action in order to force their employers to align on market expectations regarding pay and working conditions. More than four in 10 workers (44%) believe they’re underpaid for their job.

The report explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future.

For more insights, please read the ‘People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View’ report here.

About the research
People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future.

ADP Research Institute® surveyed 32,612 workers in 17 countries around the world between 28 October and 18 November 2022 including over 8,613 working exclusively in the gig economy. This included:

  • 7,721 in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India and Singapore)
  • 15,290 in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK)
  • 5,751 in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile)
  • 3,850 in North America (USA and Canada).

Within the worker sample gig workers and traditional workers were identified. Gig workers were identified as those who work on a contingent, temporary, or seasonal basis, or as a freelancer, independent contractor, consultant, gig worker, or use an online platform to source work. Traditional employees were identified as those who are not working in the gig economy and instead have a permanent full or part-time position.

The survey was conducted online in the local language. Overall results are weighted to represent the size of the working population for each country. Weightings are based on labour force data from the World Bank, 2 which is derived using data from the ILOSTAT database, the central statistics database of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as of February 8, 2022.


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1 Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Report, October 2022
2 Source: The World Bank, Labor force, total, World Development Indicators database, February 8 2022