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China Outpaces Asia Counterparts With Pay Raises, Hays Plc Says

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Employers in China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, are more willing to give pay raises than Asian counterparts, a private survey showed.

About 72 percent of employers in mainland China reported increasing salaries last year by more than 6 percent in white-collar jobs including banking, insurance and programming, according to U.K. recruiter Hays Plc. That compares with 21 percent of companies in Hong Kong and Singapore and 7 percent in Japan, Hays said in the survey of more than 900 employers in Asia conducted in November.

The report underscores how growth in the world’s second-largest economy is outpacing other parts of Asia. China is forecast by the International Monetary Fund to expand more than twice as fast as the rest of the world this year even as Europe’s debt crisis threatens the global recovery.

“China was the standout in terms of salary increases in the region,” the report said. “Despite current global economic conditions, the outlook in Asia remains positive and we expect to see many businesses across the region going ahead with aggressive growth targets and securing key talents to drive expansion plans in 2012.”

In China, 81 percent of employers are planning to increase salaries by more than 6 percent when they next review pay, compared with an average of 32 percent across the surveyed region, according to Hays, which specializes in placing people in white-collar jobs. The survey also covered workers in accounting, law, human resources, education and architecture.

The stronger China’s economy is, the more upward pressure on salaries, Nigel Heap, managing director for Hays Asia Pacific, said during a briefing today.

Increasing Business

The survey found 64 percent of Asia employers responding expect their business to grow in the next 12 months and 41 percent say their “permanent staff levels” will rise.

In China, jobs in accounting and finance will see a “steady increase” this year as multinational companies add local managers, Hays said. Most employers in the industry in China are willing to increase salaries by 10 percent to 15 percent to “secure the right candidate,” according to the survey.

In banking, most employers in China are willing to pay 15 percent to 20 percent above market rates to hire the best people, Hays said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Zheng Lifei in Beijing at lzheng32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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