Steady wage growth in 2017

Steady wage growth in 2017

Salary increases for employees in most industries across Thailand are expected to remain constant in 2017 relative to this year, according to a survey by advisory firm Willis Towers Watson.

The company's 2016 General Industry Total Compensation Survey, completed in November, involved 231 companies in Thailand representing various industries such as banking/financial services, asset management, insurance, retail, electronics, high tech, pharmaceuticals, transport/logistics and chemicals.

The survey covers the latest human resources and compensation trends in Thailand. Its key findings in terms of salary increases, entry-level salaries, bonuses and turnover rates indicated the overall salary increase for general industry in Thailand was 5.5% in 2016 and is projected to stabilise in 2017.

With all sectors experiencing similar trends, electronic manufacturing had the lowest salary increase of 5.3% in 2016 but is expected to reach an average increase of 5.5% next year.

The highest-paying industries for fresh graduates are engineering and information technology (20,583 baht a month), followed by accounting/finance (20,000) and law (18,000). Master's degree graduates in technical fields can command starting salaries of 27,000 baht, viewed as the highest of all sectors.

"Despite stable pay rises across most employee levels, we anticipate some movements next year in blue-collar compensation rates as the government is going to increase the minimum wage by 1-3% in 69 provinces, effective in January 2017," said global data services manager Anotai Sornwattana.

Bonuses in 2016 differ by sector, ranging from 1.8 to three months of base salary.

Banking and financial services offer the highest bonus payouts with an average of three months of base salary, while general insurance and electronics manufacturing have the lowest variable pay at 1.8 months of base salary.

In 2016, industries experiencing the highest turnover were transportation and logistics and electronics manufacturing at 16%. Life and non-life insurance and high tech had the lowest at 10%.

Technology, flexibility, diversification, communication and analytics have been named as top priority areas for HR in 2017.

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