The Salary SurgeSector overview

Our study focuses on three knowledge-intensive sectors that act as critical drivers of global economic growth: financial and business services; technology, media, and communications (TMT); and manufacturing.

The Salary SurgeSector overview

Our study focuses on three knowledge-intensive sectors that act as critical drivers of global economic growth: financial and business services; technology, media, and communications (TMT); and manufacturing.

Financial and business services

Financial and business services contribute significantly to global GDP. The sector now comprises roughly one-third of both the UK and the US economy, and it’s projected to represent 17% of China’s economy by 2030.

It’s also the sector most impacted by acute talent shortages, with an expected deficit of 10.7 million workers by 2030, meaning that $1.313 trillion of revenue won’t be generated. Additionally, this sector faces a potential wage premium of $440.87 billion by the same date, more than double that of the other sectors examined.

Nations that are home to the world’s leading financial centers—including the US, Germany, and the UK—are among the economies facing the highest wage premiums in the sector. In the US alone, the financial and business services wage premium could add $133.77 billion to the sector’s pay bill by 2030.

Country spotlight: Brazil

Brazil’s financial and business services sector can expect a labor gap of 2.5 million workers by 2030, potentially resulting in additional wages of $49.67 billion for highly skilled workers, one of the largest pay premiums of any economy. The estimated premium is more than any other emerging market in our study and also bigger than the hike expected in key financial hubs like Germany and the UK. With financial and business services expected to represent around 11% of Brazil’s GDP by 2030, this pay pressure will increase in proportion to the sector’s importance to its economy.

Looming talent shortages and accompanying wage rises could constrain the nation’s growth potential, stalling the development of its financial and business services sector. It’s critical that the government and the sector take action now to address the imminent shortage.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?


Which country do you think, will have the biggest wage premium in the financial and business services sector at 2030?

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"The finance industry is built on skills and knowledge, meaning costs are heavily weighted towards talent. This is an industry where workers already command high salaries, so the additional pressure caused by shortfalls could push some organizations to the brink."

Mark Thompson,
Senior Client Partner, Reward Consulting, Korn Ferry

Technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT)

With technology underpinning every other sector, TMT is an increasingly important part of the global economy. But significant skills shortages are already impacting the industry, and our research suggests that the world’s top TMT markets can all expect skilled worker deficits by 2030. As a result, the wage premium for TMT will almost triple within the next decade, surging from $59.58 billion in 2020 to $160.45 billion by 2030.

China most clearly exemplifies the leap in the TMT wage premium. By 2025, the country’s sector won’t be suffering a skills shortage or related wage increases. But just five years later, China’s TMT sector can expect to pay highly skilled workers an additional $13.10 billion, the third-highest premium in our study. The only countries expected to pay more are the US and Japan, adding $50.14 billion and $23.57 billion to their TMT wage bills respectively.


The TMT sector, in the 20 economies analyzed, can expect a total additional pay cost in 2030 of $160bn.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?


Which country do you think will have the biggest wage premium in the TMT sector at 2030?

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Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry faces an additional wage bill of $197.35 billion by 2030, with manufacturing giants like China, Japan, and the US set to suffer severe skilled-worker shortages and escalating wage costs.

Manufacturing’s role as a critical growth driver for many emerging economies may be stalled by the huge impact of the salary surge. By 2020, Indonesia faces the fifth-highest salary premium of the economies in our study. Although China is not expected to suffer shortages in the first half of the decade, the highly skilled worker shortage is expected to exceed 1 million by 2030. As a result, the wage premium could total more than $50 billion by that time, higher than any other country analyzed. China-based manufacturing companies need to take action now before it is too late.


The manufacturing sector, across the 20 economies analyzed, can expect a total additional pay cost in 2030 of $197bn.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?


Which country do you think will have the biggest wage premium in the manufacturing sector at 2030?

TALK TO AN EXPERT

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Understand the salary surge