Average 2014 U.S. salary increases to remain at 3 per cent: Survey

Hiring activity remains flat
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 10/04/2013

Base pay increases for 2014 will remain at three per cent for the second year in a row — roughly one percentage point below pre-recession levels, according to the Compensation Planning Survey released by Buck Consultants, a U.S.-based human resources and benefits consulting company.

Larger base pay increases are in store for employees with particular skills and for those in IT and medical professions, respondents of the survey already said. Fewer respondents provided larger increases to workers in sales and engineering than was the case in Buck’s prior survey.

“Employers continue to be cautious with their salary budgets,” said David Van De Voort, principal, Buck Consultants. “What’s more, performance ratings got tougher and average promotional pay increases stagnated.”

Both short-term incentives (STI) and long-term incentives (LTI) weakened with fewer employees receiving STI in 2012, the last full year this data was collected. Fewer managers and lower-level employees are expected to receive STI payouts in 2014 and the expected size of STI awards forecasted for 2014 is smaller than 2012 actual awards. The average percentage of employees expected to receive new hire LTI grants is down for most employees.

No sign of increased hiring activity in 2014

Talent retention remains employers’ top HR priority. Employers project no increased hiring activity for 2014 with a mere 19 per cent of respondents anticipating adding workers next year, the same as in 2013.

Recruitment and sourcing talent increased in importance and surpassed employee engagement as the second highest HR priority, according to the survey.

The survey analyzed responses from more than 320 organizations to determine trends in compensation and other workforce issues.

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