KUALA LUMPUR: The total salary increase in Malaysia is expected to remain stable at 5.2 percent in 2019, the global consulting firm Mercer said Thursday (December 13).
In the recently released study Compensation Planning for 2019 Mercer noted that the figure surpasses countries such as Australia (2.6 percent), New Zealand (2.5 percent) and Japan (2 percent).
The survey also predicted that most industries in Malaysia will maintain comparable salary growth next year, with the exception of the consumer goods sector, which is expected to show a slight increase of 0.3 percent.
"Life science and technology industries are at the top with regard to the highest basic salary and total cash increases for executive positions in 2019," Mercer said in a statement.
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On the other hand, Mercer said that legal, financial and research and development functions are the best three roles that are likely to rise.
"Positive signs of revival in the semiconductor and biotechnology sector also mean that there is a demand for specialist engineering and sales talent.
"Against the background of moderate growth in the rest of the banking and financial services sector, the insurance sector is also expected to see healthy growth," he said.
Meanwhile Mercer said that Malaysia remained a highly competitive economy, with 38 percent of Generation X and 44 percent of the millennials occupying the workforce in 2018.
"The current focus on restructuring the economy, promoting diversity and increasing productivity by the Malaysian government is increasing as the country takes progressive steps to become a very competitive nation worldwide.
"This means an increased focus of companies to continue investing in building their workforce for the future," said chief executive officer Mercer Malaysia, Hash Piperdy.
According to the study, the emerging markets, Bangladesh (10 percent), India (9.2 percent) and Vietnam (9.8 percent) expect the highest salary increases in 2019.
The study also showed that the best executives in China earn their colleagues in the US and the UK.
"While it is important to note that this picture changes as long-term incentives and European social security provisions are included," it said.
The study, which identifies key reward trends and forecasts hiring and wages for the coming year in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, was based on the Total Remuneration Surveys, Mercer's flagship annual compensation and benefit analysis involving more than 500 companies Malaysia participated in 12 industries.