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The happiest Chinese are Singaporeans

Ethnic Chinese from Singapore are perceived as being the happiest among Chinese-majority territories in Asia, according to a new survey.

Their sentiment was echoed by respondents from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the three other territories involved in the survey conducted by Taiwan's Global Views Monthly magazine.

More than half of all Singapore respondents saw themselves as the happiest, while a third chose Taiwan. Around 4 per cent each chose Hong Kong or China.

Respondents from Taiwan and Hong Kong saw themselves as second happiest, while those from mainland China picked Hong Kong just ahead of their home ground.

Close to 4,000 ethnic Chinese from the four territories were polled. Lianhe Zaobao was the Singapore partner in the survey. China-based Horizon Research, the Hong Kong Economic Journal and the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies were the other partners.

Wages set to rise 4%

Many people grumble about their jobs but it seems most Singapore employees are satisfied with their lot and will probably stick with their employer for a few more years at least.

In a new survey, more than 70 per cent of the respondents said they are happy with their working hours and workload, as well as their career prospects and development. Findings also indicate respondents are likely to stay in their jobs for five more years on average.

Workers in Singapore are looking at a pay rise of around 4 per cent this year and next year as the job market tightens further, say human resource experts.

People working in the service sector can expect the biggest salary increase, especially those in finance, IT and life sciences.

As businesses face the double whammy of sharper wage pressure and rising rents, economists warn that this could result in steeper consumer price rises.

"The tightening of the labour market is expected to push salaries up," said Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of corporate services at recruitment consultancy The GMP Group.