Management and professional grade staff working in the construction industry continue to be command higher salaries than the median Hong Kong salary according to a new industry report.
According to the “Hong Kong Construction Industry Performance Report for 2011” released by the Construction Industry Council last week, for the period 2008 to 2011, the average monthly salaries for managers and professionals hovered at HK$20,000 compared with the Hong Kong median monthly earnings of HK$10,500 to 11,000.
Blue collar workers unfortunately continue to lag behind in terms of pay.
Over the same period, the average monthly salary of craft and related workers was about HK$9,000, climbing to HK$11,000 in 2011.
“The salary differences between different groups of employees remained largely unchanged over the last four years,” the report said.
As a whole, the average salary in the construction industry rose from HK$10,000 in 2008 to HK$11,000 for 2011.
Data for the period 2001 to 2007 was not available to the CIC.
Since 2008, the government has been spending more on infrastructure development with large showcase projects such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and various railway extension projects for the MTRC (0066).
Amid public discontent over shortage of housing, it has also been selling more land to private developers in an effort to provide more housing and force down housing prices.
The effect of increased construction spending has been to force up salaries in the industry.
While salaries have been edging up, albeit slowly, due to more demand for construction work, the industry continued to show no signs of attracting significant numbers of newcomers.
According to the workers’ aging index compiled by the CIC report, just 31.4 percent of workers were under the age of 40 in 2011, having dropped steadily from 32.6 percent in 2011.
Statistics gathered on registered workers who have undergone the mandatory basic safety training course (known better as the “green card”) by the Construction Workers Registration Authority correlate to this index with about 35 percent of registered workers under the age of 40.
On the retention rate for graduates after 12 months from graduation for those who attended basic craft courses and construction supervision courses, the report said that the rate fluctuated over years.
“The graduates’ retention rate had been decreasing since 2000 until 2005. The graduates’ retention rate showed a significant improvement since 2007. The retention rate was 85.6 percent in 2011,” the report said.
Apart from manpower issues, the CIC report also provides an overview of the performance of the Hong Kong construction industry in terms of productivity, health and safety, environment and dispute resolution over 11 years from 2001 to 2011.