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Australia – More employees to receive a pay rise this year: Hays

21 May 2019

The majority, or 90%, of employers in Australia, will increase salaries in their next review, up from 87% who did so in their last review, according to Hays. However, the value of these increases will fall compared to last year.

Hays found that 65% of employers intend to raise salaries by 3% or less, up from 57% who did so in their last review. At the other end of the scale, 4% of employers, down from 9%, intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%.

Meanwhile, the number of employers who will increase salaries at the mid-level, between 3% and 6%, remains unchanged at 21%.

Among industries, advertising and media top the list of most generous industries, with 15% of employers planning to award salary increases of 6% or more in their next review. This is followed by IT & telecommunications (11%), construction, property & engineering (7%) and professional services (6%).

Hays also found that 27% of the more than 1,600 professionals polled expect no increase whatsoever and 41% expect 3% or less.

More than half of professionals, or 57%, say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year with 46% intending to achieve this by asking for a pay rise, while others are looking elsewhere. Meanwhile, 41% of job seekers say their uncompetitive salary provoked their job search.

“Evidently, the aggregate effect of several years of sedate salary increases is taking its toll and we’re now seeing a tug of war over salaries,” Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, said.

“On the one hand, we have professionals telling us they’ve prioritised a pay rise and are prepared to enter the job market to improve their earnings. On the other, employers tell us they want to add to their headcount and are being impacted by skill shortages, yet they plan to curtail salary increases,” Deligiannis said.

“The resulting salary friction will lead to rising turnover,” Deligiannis said. “Already, one third (33%) of employers say turnover increased during the last 12 months, while 40% of professionals are either currently looking or planning to look for a new job in the next 12 months. These professionals are responding to low wage growth by seeking external opportunities as a means to achieve the step-change rise they’re looking for.”

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