Expected 2015 Salary Trends

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Several organizations that track compensation trends expect salaries to rise in 2015, though they differ in their projections of what that rise will look like. Budgets for salary have been rising slowly but steadily since 2009, staying level with an economic recovery that has been far from explosive. Experts believe that while the economy is adding jobs, the workforce is still diminished from its prerecession high, meaning that the labor pool is slack enough that employers do not yet feel the need to pay higher wages in order to attract good workers.

Overall, forecasters expect salaries to rise between 3.0 percent and 3.8 percent, but the overall numbers mask significant differences between industries and roles. One projection shows the technology industry, for instance, seeing starting salaries go up by 5.7 percent while projecting that the legal industry will see a more modest raise of 3.0 percent. The same projection expects accounting, finance, creative, and marketing positions to see 3.5 percent increases, while administrative roles should experience a 3.4 percent jump.

The projection also highlights several positions that may receive significantly higher salaries in 2015. Mobile applications developers could see a jump of as much as 10.2 percent. Data architects might see 7.2 percent more, chief security officers 7.1 percent more, and mobile designers 6.8 percent more. From there, the raises drop a bit. A lawyer with 10 or more years of experience can look for about 4.9 percent more, while a junior staff accountant can look for 4.0 percent more, about the same amount as a compliance officer should look to make.

Outside of those bright areas, overall wage growth will be relatively stagnant when measured against inflation. If the consumer price index grows at 2.1 percent as expected, the 3.0 percent average raise will lead to a paltry 0.9 percent increase in spending power. That would beat the net gains achieved by workers in 2013 but would barely achieve half of the gains of 2014.

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