Nominal wage index increases 2.6% YoY in Dec 2022

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28th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) According to the figures released today by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the average wage rate for all the selected industry sections surveyed, as measured by the wage index, increased by 2.6% in nominal terms in December 2022 over a year earlier.
 
About 60% of the companies reported increase in average wage rates in December 2022 compared with a year ago. A total of 37% of the companies recorded decrease in average wage rates over the same period. The remaining 3% reported virtually no change in average wage rates.
 
After discounting the changes in consumer prices as measured by the Consumer Price Index (A), the overall average wage rate for all the selected industry sections surveyed increased by 0.5% in real terms in December 2022 over a year earlier. 
 
As for payroll, the index of payroll per person engaged for all the industry sections surveyed increased by 2.3% in nominal terms in the fourth quarter of 2022 over a year earlier. 
 
After discounting the changes in consumer prices as measured by the Composite Consumer Price Index, the average payroll per person engaged increased by 0.5% in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with a year earlier.
 
 The wage rate includes basic wages and other regular and guaranteed allowances and bonuses. Payroll includes elements covered by wage rate as well as other irregular payments to workers such as discretionary bonuses and overtime allowances. The payroll statistics therefore tend to show relatively larger quarter-to-quarter changes, affected by the number of hours actually worked and the timing of payment of bonuses and back-pay.

For the nominal wage indices, year-on-year increases were recorded in all selected industry sections in December 2022, ranging from 1.5% to 3.6%.
 
 For the real wage indices, year-on-year increases ranging from 0.2% to 1.5% were recorded in all selected industry sections in December 2022, except the import/export, wholesale and retail trades section and personal services section where year-on-year decreases of 0.3% and 0.6% were recorded respectively.

As for the nominal indices of payroll per person engaged, year-on-year increases were recorded in all selected industry sections in the fourth quarter of 2022, ranging from 1.3% to 4.1%.
 
 For the real payroll indices, year-on-year increases ranging from 0.1% to 2.2% were recorded in all selected industry sections surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2022, except the import/export and wholesale trades section where a year-on-year decrease of 0.5% was recorded.
 

A Government spokesman said that nominal wages and labour earnings saw accelerated year-on-year increases in the fourth quarter of 2022 as the labour market continued to improve. After discounting for inflation, both wages and labour earnings increased in real terms.
 
The average nominal wage rate for all selected industries rose by 2.6% year-on-year in December 2022, faster than the increase three months ago. After discounting for inflation, the average wage rate increased by 0.5% in real terms.
 
 Nominal payroll per person engaged, which includes basic wage, discretionary bonuses and other irregular payments, increased by 2.3% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2022, also faster than the increase in the preceding quarter. After discounting for inflation, payroll per person engaged increased by 0.5% in real terms. All selected industries saw increases in nominal payroll per person engaged, and the increases were faster than the preceding quarter for most industries.
 
 Looking ahead, the continued return of economic activities to normalcy and the rebound in inbound tourism should drive labour demand, thereby supporting further growth in wages and labour earnings.