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HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Hong Kong offers better jobs than Singapore, say expats

Nineteen percent of expats in Singapore think they have great job opportunities compared to 24% in Hong Kong.

More expats in Hong Kong (24%) think the city offers fantastic job opportunities for them compared to expats in Singapore (19%), HSBC revealed in its Expat Explorers Survey. Both fared slightly lower than the global average (25%).

According to the report, Jakarta followed Hong Kong and Singapore in terms of job opportunities, as 18% of expats said they have fantastic chances for work in the country. It was followed by Shanghai (16%), Mumbai (14%), Kuala Lumpur (10%), and Taipei (3%).

A majority (57%) of expats in San Francisco rate it as having fantastic job opportunities – well above the global average of 25% – making it the top-scoring city in the survey. Although being an expensive city, with no respondents describing it as affordable, San Francisco offers the second highest average expat income in the world at $207,227.

Aside from job opportunities, expats in Singapore think the Lion City can also offer an affordable cost of living (8%), very clean and safe public spaces (75%), very reliable and convenient public transport (58%), excellent base to explore and travel (39%), great leisure facilities (15%), and great restaurants/quality of food (17%).

HSBC noted that cities that offer high expat wages are often associated with high living costs, and just 17% of urban expats say their city is an affordable place to live.

Expats in Singapore earn $155,166 (US$117,904) on average, higher than the than the global average of $131,476 (US$99,903). About 65% of expats in Singapore think they earn more disposable income here than back home. About 21% thought there is no income difference. The global average showed that only 57% think their disposable income is higher in their host country than back home. Around 25% said there is no income difference.

HSBC noted that expats in Singapore are more keen towards property as 72% of them own one elsewhere whilst 31% own one in their host country. The picture is slightly different globally, where 62% own property anywhere, whilst 37% own one in their host country.

Singapore also trailed behind Hong Kong as one of the most attractive countries for foreign talent as it placed 13th in the fourth annual World Talent Ranking by the World Competitiveness Center at IMD. The study revealed that across ranking categories, Singapore ranked 41st in terms of investment and development, 17th in terms of appeal, and two in terms of readiness.

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