The Centre for Human Resources Strategy and Development (CHRSD) of the HKBU School of Business released the results of the “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Pay and Benefits Survey 2023” on 18 October at Hong Kong Baptist University, which attracted over 300 HR professionals and reporters to the seminars and received over thousands views on social media.
The survey was conducted between July and September 2023. For Hong Kong, questionnaire responses from 87 companies were received, covering 68,267 employees. The respondents came from 10 business sectors, including: Construction, Engineering, Hospitality & Catering, Information, Communication Technology & Software, Logistics & Transportation, Manufacturing, Non-Government Organization & Social Enterprises, Real Estate & Property Management, Retail, Trading etc.
The survey results suggest that the overall actual salary increase in Hong Kong for the period of July 2022 to June 2023 ranged from 3.2% to 3.8%, which is the highest among Greater Bay Area cities. However, the city also had a high turnover rate, mainly due to “Career/Promotion Prospect”, “Pay” and “Emigration”. The projected salary increase for 2024 varies from 3.5% to 3.8%, edging closer to pre-pandemic levels.
As for the Guangdong cities, a total of 112,020 employees from 184 organisations were covered in the survey. The results suggested that the overall actual salary increase in 2023 ranged from 2% to 2.2% for the same period, with the overall projected salary increase for 2024 remaining within 2.8% to 2.9%.
Commenting on Hong Kong’s higher salary increment than other GBA cities, Dr. Felix Yip, Associate Director of CHRSD, said, “Hong Kong’s current unemployment rate is 2.8%, which is very low, so it supports a relatively high pay increase, and people will easily be attracted to change jobs or switch industries. The average salary increment in Mainland cities has always been higher than in Hong Kong, but we are seeing a turning point this year due to rising costs of living and labour.”
In terms of the competitiveness of Hong Kong in attracting talents within the GBA, Prof. Xu Huang, Director, CHRSD, and Associate Dean of the HKBU School of Business, said, “From a data perspective, Hong Kong’s labour cost is the highest, whereas Shenzhen’s is only 60% of that in Hong Kong. Labour costs reflect the competitiveness of a market. So if Hong Kong is struggling with a talent crunch even with high labour costs, this means that Hong Kong businesses are very competitive and resilient.”
This year, the Centre launched a new intelligent dashboard system. It leverages a novel algorithm that allows participating companies to assess their own salary and benefits strategies and formulate new ones based on accumulated scientific research conducted worldwide over the last five decades and HKBU's survey data from previous years.
The survey has been an annual collaboration between HKBU and the Hong Kong People Management Association since 1995, aiming at providing employers and human resources professionals with the latest market trends on compensation and benefits in the region. For this year’s survey, the CHRSD once again partnered with the Research Center for Human Resources Management of South China University of Technology (SCUT) and the Talent Development and Management Association of Guangdong. Additionally, the partnership was extended to include the University of Macau and the Macau Greater Bay Area Human Resources Association.