Salary increases will continue to be at near record low levels in 2017, mirroring this year. That’s a key finding in a report recently released by local recruitment and human resource firm Forsythes Recruitment.
Trends in Hunter Central Coast & Sydney Salaries 2016-17 has been prepared using national data along with Forsythes Recruitment’s online salary survey portal.
Director Geoff Crews said he expects the average annual salary movement for 2016/17 to again be around 3 per cent. While almost all organisations surveyed will conduct salary reviews, more than 10 per cent signalled they did not intend to offer increases to employees.
“Staffing levels are increasing, business activity is expected to strengthen and the majority of organisations anticipate reduced ability to attract and retain talent but it appears that profit pressures will keep salary movements down,” Geoff said.
“Globalisation, automation and collaboration are three factors behind job losses and record low wages growth.”
He said skill requirements are increasing for many if not all roles and people who can dovetail core skills with IT and other soft skills are increasingly in demand.
“Workers who demonstrate a diversity of skills as well as creativity, confidence with technology and above average communication skills are leading the way in wages growth.”
Key finding for various job areas
- Administration staff recorded the lowest salary increase in 2015/16 but payroll and credit control jobs have been plentiful and seen good salary increases. Low wage increases and the practice of hiring less experienced candidates looks set to continue for administration staff.
- Local contact centre salaries rose slightly more than the national average due to the expansion of several local centres. Growth in the sector looks set to continue.
- Engineering, resources and construction salaries increased by slightly more than the national average. Local residential and urban regeneration projects have created a surge in roles and put pressure on salaries at senior levels. Architects, design engineers and town planners are in high demand. The bulk of all new jobs in this category will be temporary and project based.
- Executive salaries will remain flat for another year or more although the Newcastle region will continue to offer a steady number of executive opportunities in line with growth in new projects, new businesses and business rejuvenation activities. Most roles will be medium term contract roles in mining, construction and infrastructure projects.
- Financial services is a fast growing industry and salary movements have been at just above the national average. Less than a quarter of this workforce is expected to get a salary increase of 3 per cent or more and more than 10 per cent will likely receive no increase at their next review.
- For HR professionals jobs growth was stagnant and salary increases only 0.1 per cent above the national average. Employers will continue to expect safety professionals to have skills in changing behaviour rather than just compliance. There will likely be an increase in contract and project based roles in this area in 2017.
- In 2016 there was little consistency in wages for tradespeople and construction labourers. Conditions in manufacturing and heavy industry have strengthened recently and building materials construction is increasing on the back of the construction boom. A lower dollar is also contributing to a more positive outlook for this sector in 2017.
- The jobs market for IT professionals has been steady. Many local businesses are investing in technology upgrades and new projects, meaning the sector will remain buoyant in 2017.
- For sales and marketing professionals the strongest local job growth has been in digital and communication roles. More traditional sales and account management wages have fallen from the highs of the mining boom. Salaries in this category will show minimal movement in 2017 with commissions playing an even bigger part in income discrepancies.
- In supply chain and logistics, salary increases have been lower than the national average and unlike some other areas, temp workers in this sector rarely receive premium hourly rates. Continued outsourcing of logistics will see a squeeze on salaries so companies can win bids.
IMAGE | Geoff Crews