Inflation costs are global
Hong Kong has been ranked as the most expensive city in which to work and live as an expatriate, according to a new report which underscores the impact of rising living costs on the expatriate market.
According to Mercer’s 2022 Cost of Living Index, this is the fourth time in five years that Hong Kong has been ranked as the costliest location for overseas workers.
Hong Kong’s rise to the top spot is partially due to inflationary costs, which have had a global impact. On top of this, ongoing Covid restrictions and political turmoil have combined to make it more expensive to expats to live there.
“Part of it is the real estate market,” commented Vince Cordova, a partner at Mercer.
“The other part is the cost of goods and service and also the political uncertainty. The people who are going to be there will need to spend more to live well.”
Mercer’s 2022 Cost of Living Index noted that the Swiss cities of Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern round out the top five as the most expensive for expats to live and work in.
Cordova pointed out that this is due to the strength of the Swiss franc, which has until fairly recently held steady against the rising US dollar.
Completing the list of the top ten most expensive cities for expats are Tel Aviv, New York City, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing.
Now in its 28th year, Mercer’s annual cost of living report was created to help companies and governments determine pay packages for expatriate employees by measuring accommodation costs and the price of goods and service within a country’s local markets against the relative costs of living in New York City.
To arrive at the comparison, the index ranked 227 cities and then took into account the prices of over 200 items – such as food, transportation, housing and medical care – in March of 2022.
Cordova pointed out that unlike previous years, the 2022 report also took into account the increase in remote work as more companies are using it as a tool when deciding their flexible working policies.
“One of the consequences of the pandemic was this concept of work from anywhere, with more employees now asking employers if they can support that,” he said.
“Companies now want some information on what the economic impact of the relocation would be, and that’s how we seeing mobility expand.”
To learn more, visit https://www.mercer.com/our-thinking/career/cost-of-living.html.
Hong Kong is the most expensive city for expatriates to live and work in.
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