Outlook bleak with layoffs and pay freezes on cards

I guess I shouldn’t be wishing for bonus or increment next year… sigh

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News courtesy of The Standard, HK’s free english newspaper.

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong People Management Association interviewed 45 companies between October 13 and 17 to find out their future plans.

Two in every five companies have decided to scale down pay hikes in the wake of the economic downturn, while nearly one in 10 has or is planning to lay off staff, a survey shows.

About 40 percent, or 19 companies, said they will scale down pay rises while eight companies (17.8 percent) said they will wait and see. Four (9 percent) said they were under pressure to lay off staff.

Another survey conducted between July and September interviewed 83 companies – comprising 55,440 workers – about their employment status between July 2007 and June this year. About a quarter said they sacked a total of 1,293 employees during the year.

The largest layoffs came in the electronics and electrical sector, in which 461 staff (35.7 percent) were laid off. This was followed by the property management sector with 353 staff losing their jobs.

However, the same survey forecast next year’s pay rise will be between 4.8 and 5 percent compared with 4.5 percent this year.

A survey of 95 operating units in China involving 168,801 staff was a clearer indication of the times.

Those contacted in July indicated pay rises for next year would be higher than this year but in a second survey in October, 22 of the 57 companies that responded said they intended to scale down rises and 10 said they were under pressure to cut staff.

Management association vice president Pauline Chung Hei-ching said the situation could deteriorate further though the impact of the financial tsunami is still not clear. She said there were also fears that legislation on a minimum wage could negatively affect the employment market.

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