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Australia – Falling pay rises reveal ongoing caution in labour market

15 January 2014

Workers looking for a pay rise in 2014 will have to lower their expectations following the latest pay forecast data released by global management consultancy Hay Group. According to the data, salary growth in Australia is expected to be +3% in 2014, down from +4% in 2013, reports whitsundaytimes.com.au.

This marks the slowest growth rate since the global financial crisis and hints at lingering caution in the Australian employment market.

Steve Paola, Senior Consultant at Hay Group, said slow growth meant that many Australian companies stayed heavily focused on their bottom line in a bid to remain competitive, generally through minimising costs and working to increase productivity.

"There is an opportunity for organisations to be creative about how they reward their people - going beyond cash. It's about spending smarter, not more, and reviewing return on reward spend. Securing the commitment of employees by developing clear career management plans, nurturing key talent, and creating a buzz around the company's vision can also play a role in engaging and retaining employees over the long term," he explained.

Hay Group's research is based on the salary expectations of more than 22,000 organisations in 71 countries worldwide representing 15 million employees. The study found global pay rates are likely to increase by an average of +5.2%, itself a slight decrease on 2013 figures.

Fast-growth markets are expected to see the biggest salary rises this year, with the biggest pay rises expected in Venezuela or Argentina, where Hay Group forecasts increases of +27% and +24.3%, respectively. In reality, however, workers in Venezuela and Argentina will effectively be taking a pay cut as massive inflation rates, of 36.4% and 25.7% respectively, will nullify any pay rises.  


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