Wages in Hong Kong are increasing to historic highs as employers compete for professional skills, according to the latest Hays Global Skills Index.
Hong Kong was given a score of 10.0 - the highest possible -- in the wage inflation index. This indicates that real wages are increasing much quicker than the longer term trend. No other country scored 10 for overall wage pressure.
Wages have been growing at 5% annually despite the economy growing at below the long-term average. Wages are rising at around the same rate for high-skill and low-skill occupations.
While the market ranked 5th on a list of 31 countries for efficiency of the overall labor market, demand for highly-skilled professionals is tight, according to Hayes regional manager Dean Stallard.
"The shortage of talent and Hong Kong's high cost of living has seen employers offer competitive wages to secure and retain highly-skilled professionals," he said.
"In fact, wages are increasing much quicker than we have historically seen. This tells us that overall the labour market is tight as employers compete for talent based on salary. It also shows that further salary increases will likely do little to alleviate the shortage of highly-skilled candidates."
Hong Kong's score in other metrics suggests that the proportion of working age people isn't increasing -- contributing to the skills gap -- but that the market's education system is fairly well-equipped to meed labor market needs.
Its overall score rose from 4.1 in 2013 to 4.5 in 2014, further showing that employers face more competition for key talent.