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Even with an economy growing at its slowest pace in a decade, average Indian salaries are projected to jump by more than 10 percent this year, a new survey forecast on Wednesday.
That is far below the blistering 15 percent before the onset of the global financial crisis when the economy was expanding at near double digits, according to figures from global staffing services firm Hewitt Association.
But India leads in salary rises across key Asia-Pacific nations with its projected average 10.3 percent rise for 2013 followed by China, where wages are seen growing by 9.3 percent, the survey said.
"Business sentiment is strengthening," Sandeep Chaudhary, consultant at Aeon Hewitt, told a news conference to announce the results of the survey of 500 companies.
The government has forecast the economy will grow by 5.0 percent in the year to March 2013, the weakest in a decade, though Finance Minister P. Chidambaram says he is confident he can steer expansion to six to seven percent next year.
But India says even those rates, while enviable by anaemic Western standards, are not enough to create the jobs the nation needs for its fast-growing young population.
The Philippines and Malaysia will post the next fastest wage rises of 7.2 percent this year, Hong Kong will notch up 4.8 percent, Singapore will rise by 4.7 percent and Australia by 4.2 percent.
Japan is expected to post the lowest rise of just 2.4 percent, the survey showed.
By contrast, salaries in the United States are forecast to increase by three percent, Chaudhary said.
The figures for India only reflect the prospects for the 7.0 percent of the labour force employed in the so-called organised sector such as government, state and privately owned firms, according to India's National Sample Survey.
A massive 93 percent are employed in the unorganised sector working as anything from pushcart vendors to servants.