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Overall salaries in the Philippines are expected to increase by an average of 6.2 percent next year, according to Mercer, an international human resources consulting firm based in New York, citing a newly completed study. That’s slightly faster compared to the increase of 5.9 percent this year and 5.8 percent last year.

Mercer unveiled the results of the ‘Compensation Planning for 2018’ report for the region including predictions for hiring intentions and pay increases across Asia, Middle East and Africa. Figures and forecasts are based on Mercer’s Global Compensation Planning Report and Total Remuneration Survey (TRS), which were released last November 30.

Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is seen to have the third highest salary increase next year, after Vietnam, which is expected to increase salaries by 8.8 percent; and Indonesia, 8.1 percent.

Across six Philippine industries, the salary increases range from 5.5 percent in high-tech companies to 6.7 percent in energy firms. Shared services and outsourcing, where many call center and business process outsourcing (BPO) workers are employed, is seen to increase salaries by 6.0 percent.

Mercer attributed the increases to the economic performance of the country. It explained that the 6.5-percent GDP growth in the second quarter of 2017 helped in accelerating the hiring capabilities of the country.

However, the firm noted that higher GDP growth and base pay increases can also cause higher staff turnover.

“Attrition is higher for industries that have continued to outpace the slowdown we observed in the preceding year,” Mercer said, mentioning the consumer and retail industries as examples.

Moreover, the firm revealed that the country’s critical human resources challenges are “skills shortage,” “war for talent” and “keeping employees engaged.” Mercer explained the current education system of the country does not produce enough “ready for work” employees, which subsequently creates a competition among companies in hiring the appropriate employees.

This story originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Fhm.com.ph editors.

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