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Money talks in sluggish economy

By Shi Jing in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-20 07:24

During an economic downturn, job seekers tend to attach greater importance to the overall compensation and cash incentives they can earn, according to a report by the Hong Kong-founded executive recruitment firm MRIC.

Of the 3,820 professionals interviewed on the Chinese mainland, 35.9 percent requested an increase in overall compensation or commissions, which outweighed other relevant concerns, such as finding a clearer career track or having the opportunity to face more challenges, the report found.

Meanwhile, the number of Chinese mainland respondents dissatisfied with their current level of compensation rose from 54.2 percent last year to 57.8 percent in 2013. Only respondents from Taiwan reported a greater level of dissatisfaction with their current earnings.

A lack of satisfaction with compensation may be tied to mounting living costs and lower bonuses this year. Many people aim to earn higher salaries in order to improve their housing conditions and achieve a higher quality of life.

With a score of 99, Shanghai ranked 30th of 131 surveyed cities in terms of living cost in 2012, up 11 places from a year earlier, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It fell just short of matching New York, which scored 100. Just five years ago, Shanghai ranked 53rd on the list.

"Respondent sentiment is generally more conservative, with a lowering of job-change intentions from the previous year, while stress has taken its toll on professional talent, who are increasingly aware of their quality of life," said Christine Raynaud, chief executive officer of MRIC.

Workers will change jobs if it makes financial sense, but many of them have become more averse to risk and require a major salary hike to make a move, according to the report.

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