Higher salary increments expected in 2022 as confidence in Malaysia’s economic recovery grows: Mercer

Mercer's annual Malaysia Total Remuneration Survey (TRS)

Mercer's annual Malaysia Total Remuneration Survey (TRS)

Mercer’s Malaysia Total Remuneration Survey 2021

Higher salary increments expected in 2022 as confidence in Malaysia’s economic recovery grows
Overall median salary increments projected to hit 4.5% in Malaysia next year, up from 4.1% in 2021
Lower involuntary attrition rates compared to pre-pandemic levels show improving business sentiment
Greater workplace flexibility and mental wellness support needed to successfully implement a hybrid future of work

You may also be interested in:

For Information and Advise on How to Choose the Right Course with High Job Demand & Salary for students after High School or Pre-University, please fill up the form.

Please fill up the Form below and I will WhatsApp you and provide you with sound advise on how to choose the best private university or college in Malaysia to study at. If you do not give your mobile number or full name as in IC, your query will not be answered. Our knowledgeable & experienced counsellor will send you a message on WhatsApp & provide assistance from there.

Higher Salary Increments Expected in 2022 as Confidence in Malaysia’s Economic Recovery Grows

I was interested in choosing a course that has high job demand & salary as well as meet my interests. EduSpiral gave me job reports & statistics to help me choose the right course. Bernice, Digital Marketing at Taylor's University
I was interested in choosing a course that has high job demand & salary as well as meet my interests. EduSpiral gave me job reports & statistics to help me choose the right course.
Bernice, Digital Marketing at Taylor’s University

Companies in Malaysia are forecasting a median 4.5% increase in overall salaries for 2022, according to the annual Total Remuneration Survey (TRS) 2021 by Mercer that polled 544 organizations – of which 97% are multi-national companies (MNCs) – across 10 industries in Malaysia between April and June this year. Excluding companies that have implemented wage freezes, this is a 0.4% improvement from 4.1% this year but still below the 5% in 2019.

Although Malaysia’s median salary increment is below the Asia Pacific average of 5.4%, it shows confidence in the country’s economic recovery, with its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimated to grow by 4.5%[1] this year, returning close to pre-pandemic levels of 4.4% in 2019. Across the region, Pakistan (9%) reported the highest salary increase while Japan’s 2022 estimate is the lowest at 2.3%.

Koay Gim Soon, Mercer’s Career Business Leader in Malaysia, said, “While the rebound in salary increments shows that companies are confident of Malaysia’s gradual reopening to business, it is still lower than pre-pandemic levels. Faced with financial pressures, we see differences in the challenges faced and the pace of recovery for MNCs and small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Even though MNCs have had the means to survive thus far, they now need to look into areas like engagement and productivity, as employees have been staying put and expect more than just compensation. SMEs on the other hand, with lesser resources, must stay focused on key business priorities and keep their compensation packages competitive to attract and retain the right talent to keep their businesses afloat.”

Increase in salaries across all industries

Across the industries surveyed, the Lifestyle Retail industry is expected to see the biggest upturn in salary increment at 4.2%[2] in 2022, up from 3% in 2021. This is followed by the Life Sciences (0.7% increase to 5%), as well as the Consumer Goods and Chemical industries, both up 0.5% to 4.5% and 5% respectively. In terms of variable bonuses, employers in Malaysia have also increased the average bonus payout to 2.2 months for 2021, compared to 2.1 months in 2020, with the Life Sciences and Shared Services industries seeing the highest payout of 2.4 months.

Commenting on the industry salary trends, Mr Koay said, “Businesses in the Life Sciences and Chemicals space are traditionally more resilient to economic uncertainty, which probably explains why they are able to make salary increments and bonus payouts consistently. The uptick in salary increments for the Lifestyle Retail & Consumer Goods industries is a positive sign that consumer spending is picking up on Malaysia’s road of returning to normalcy.”

Labor market recovery to gain momentum into 2022

Of all the survey’s respondents, 20.1% intend to add headcount whereas 1.9 % of employers specified they will reduce their headcount, down from 5.7% this year. Involuntary attrition for the first half of 2021 has dipped to 1.6%, compared to 3.3% in 2020 and 3.6% in 2019, indicating that companies are in a better position to retain their workforce and keep their businesses afloat.

Mr Koay said, “The reopening of economic and social activities in mid-August has seen a boost in hiring, resulting in a drop in the unemployment rate. We anticipate a sustained recovery in Malaysia’s job market going into 2022. Employers will need to do more to compete for the talent they need as they position themselves for growth. This includes embracing hybrid work arrangements and rethinking their employee value proposition, including compensation.”


Towards a robust hybrid working environment

With improving business sentiment, the Malaysian government also recently announced new guidelines to expand flexible work arrangements to all sectors that could help companies to continue economic activities and offer better benefits to their employees, especially during the Movement Control Orders (MCO) in the country.

Godelieve van Dooren, Mercer’s CEO for the South East Asia Growth Markets said, “The pandemic has forced many companies to rethink their entire employee value proposition. With workplace flexibility becoming the norm for employees, employers should focus on creating a working environment that meets both business and personal needs. Apart from compensation, hybrid training and development programs, enhancing benefits programs for hybrid working and providing on-the-go health and mental wellness support are great examples of how employers can raise employee engagement and maintain a healthy, productive workforce.”

[1] IMA Asia, APAC, Executive Brief, Oct 2021

[2] 2021 Mercer Malaysia Total Remuneration Survey

About Mercer’s Total Remuneration Survey

The Total Remuneration Survey, Mercer’s flagship annual compensation and benefits benchmarking study, identifies current pay practices and benefits policies, as well as budget, hiring and turnover trends for the year ahead. In addition, Mercer also conducts regular pulse surveys throughout the year to keep up with the impact of the rapidly changing business environment and compensation and workforce trends.

About Mercer

Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s approximately 25,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 81,000 colleagues and annual revenue of over US$19 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit mercer.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn and Twitter.



Write your comment or question & our experts will reply you soon

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please Fill up the Form For Education Advise on Choosing the Right Course & Private University

Want to learn more about which is the right course or the best private university for you? Get answers to your most important questions with expert advise from our knowledgeable and experienced counsellor.

If you are the Parent, please provide your Child’s Details

If you are the parent or sibling or relative, please give the name of the student, not yours.
If you are the parent or sibling or relative, please give the IC number of the student, not yours.
If you are the parent or sibling or relative, please give the email of the student, not yours.
Phone number of the Person Enquiring
Date of completion of your Academic Qualification eg SPM, IGCSE, UEC, A-Levels, etc
List down the courses that you are interested in
List down the universities that you are considering

By filling up the form you accept our Privacy Policy & allow us to share with our partner universities related to your interests. EduSpiral Consultant Services abides by the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) & do NOT sell your Personal Data.

EduSpiral Consultant Services  has more than 20 years experience in the private education industry and is an officially appointed representative for over 20 private colleges & universities in Malaysia.