Workers in the United States can look forward to a modest bump in pay next year. Median base salaries will rise by 3 percent across all main employee categories and most industries, according to research by Hay Group and WorldatWork. This increase is below pre-recession levels. After factoring in annualized consumer price index growth at 2.1 percent, the resulting base pay movement for 2015 is expected to be a minimal net gain of 0.9 percent.
“Although salary budgets in the United States are still below historical levels, budgets have been slowly but consistently increasing since 2009,” said Kerry Chou, senior practice leader for WorldatWork senior practice leader
Chou added, “while the unemployment rate is decreasing, many long-time unemployed have simply quit looking, which makes the rate look more favorable than it is. We would expect that at some point, true unemployment will fall to a level low enough to begin putting more upward pressure on wage growth.”
Hay Group expects the 3 percent median base salary increase to hold steady across most U.S. industries, including chemical, consumer products, financial services, health insurance, industrial goods and utilities. Two sectors, however, have different expectations:
• Oil and gas industry employees can expect a median base salary increase of 4 percent.
• Hospital employees can expect an increase of 2 percent for most employee groups.
More employers expect to tie reward programs to performance-management practices. These programs include increasing future emphasis on improving variable-pay programs (56 percent of respondents) and improving key non-financial rewards such as career development opportunities (63 percent).