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A Look at U.S. Wage Increases

9-29 For the past 20 years, Mercer, a global consultant in talent, heath, retirement and investment solutions, has conducted their annual U.S. Compensation Planning Survey. The purpose of the survey is to analyze recent compensation trends in the United States. Data is collected from over 1,500 mid-size and large employers and reflects pay practices for more than 16 million employees.

Below is a recap of some of the key findings from the 2014/2015 survey. The employment categories that were surveyed include executive, management, professional (sales/non-sales), office/clerical/technician and trades/production/services.

Slow and steady climb
The most recent survey findings indicate the average U.S. wage increase for 2015 is 3.0%. This reflects a steadily increasing trend – slightly higher than the 2.9% increase in 2014, 2.8% in 2013 and 2.7% in 2012. Of those surveyed, 99% of companies planned to provide increases.

Hottest industry
Just like it did in 2014, the Energy sector is delivering higher U.S. wage increases when compared to other industries. The Energy industry projected average increases of 3.5%. Other industries – including Consumer Goods and Non-Financial Services – projected lower increases of 2.8%.

Better performance = bigger paycheck
Companies that budget their promotional pay increases separately reported that most employee promotions come with a 7% pay raise. And what about employees who are not receiving a promotion, but have high performance ratings at annual review time? They continue to see bigger wage increases – 4.8% on average. For employees with lower performance ratings, the increase was just 2.6%. As companies try hard to retain their best employees, the pay gap between top-performing and lowest-performing workers continues to widen.

Employees who have high performance ratings at annual review time continue to see bigger wage increases – 4.8% on average.

Hardest to recruit and retain
Survey participants were asked to identify the job roles that are hardest for them to recruit and retain. At the top of the list are IT professionals (non-sales roles) followed by Engineering professionals (non-sales).

For employers interested in obtaining a full copy of the survey’s Executive Summary, click here. For job seekers who are ready to explore a better-paying, more fulfilling job – whether it’s a temp position or a full-time career opportunity – click here and learn how to apply for employment through A.R. Mazzotta.

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