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The monthly salary of HR directors is expected to be over HK$63,000 while senior HR and admin managers are expected to earn in the range of HK$56,000. 

Hong Kong's economy is sputtering back to life with Hong Kong's Financial Secretary Paul Chan optimistic that the SAR will reach the government's projected growth estimates, raised from last month to 6.5% from 55.%. Businesses have already captialised on this with Hong Kong reporting a drop in unemployment last month to 5%.

The 2021 Job Seeker Salary Report by JobsDB analysed the most updated information of job-seekers, aimed at comparing the changes in salaries and bonuses between 2020 and 2021.

The survey showed that for respondents who are currently working on a full-time basis, 55% maintained the same salary as last year (vs 40% in 2020). Only 34% received a pay-rise (a further slip from 50% in 2020).

According to the report, those in the admin and HR sector had varied results when it came to pay increases/cuts in 2021. Those in recruitment indicated an 8% increase in pay, senior HR and admin managers and executive secretaries both showed an increase of 4.2%, while admin executives saw their pay sharply decrease by -8.2%, training officers lost -6%, and HR/admin clerks are down -4.4%.


The report further broke down the average salaries received by job position in the HR/admin sector indicating an average salary of HK$63,000 (monthly) for HR directors. Senior HR and admin managers could be receiving an average of HK$56,000, while HR managers could be receiving $46,000 in 2021.


For respondents who are currently working on a full-time basis, over half (55%) maintained the same salary as last year (vs 40% in 2020). Only 34% received a pay-rise (a further slip from 50% in 2020). When dissecting pay changes by age, the report showed that respondents aged 26-30 (43%) and 31-35 (39%) had a higher incidence of pay-rise, whilst more mature respondents had a higher incidence of pay-drop (aged 46-50: 15%, aged above 50: 18%).


The report showed three job functions showed a relatively high incidence of pay rise in 2021: finance (52%), banking (44%), and digital marketing, cCommerce & social media (44%). Meanwhile, perhaps surprisingly, retail sales (-33%), hospitality/tourism (-36%), and food and beverage (-30%) saw the highest incidence of pay cuts. 

Overall, insurance (52%) and financial services (non-bank) (48%), property development & management (45%), and account / audit / tax (45%) were the industries with the highest pay rises. On the other hand, travel & tourism (36%), security / fire / electronic access controls (28%), and clothing / garment / textile (20%) reported a higher incidence of pay-cut.


According to the report, overall 57% of respondents held a negative employment outlook for 2021, a sharp drop from 75% last year. While overall sentiment seemed to skew negative once respondents analysed their own situation, things were markedly different this time, with 54% of people indicating feeling secure in their current jobs.


Other results showed:

  • 72% of job seekers who are currently unemployed are open to changing job functions, and around a quarter of them plan to make that change in the coming job.
  • Among the respondents who are currently unemployed but intend to find jobs, 96% have previous work experience.
  • For those who have never had a full-time job before, majority are fresh graduates or aged under 30.
  • Only 16% of the unemployed respondents expect a salary increase compared with their previous job while 30% expect no change. A much larger proportion (48%) are pessimistic and prepared for a salary cut in their new job (vs 33% in previous year).

ALSO READ: Singapore salary guide 2021: HR, administration & business support, sales & marketing, and more

Lead & body images / JobsDB

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