American Society of Employers Releases 2017 Compensation Survey Results


The American Society of Employers (ASE) has released its 65th annual compensation survey results. ASE surveyed 357 companies, 57 percent located in metro Detroit, via an online survey distributed to human resource professionals. Nearly 59 percent of respondents were classified as non-automotive suppliers.

“Despite improvements in the economy, notably the reduction in the unemployment rate, employers seem to be taking a more conservative approach and are holding steady at 3 percent pay raises,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE.  “Our data suggests that employers may be relying on other forms of compensation, specifically incentive compensation, to reward employees; therefore, maintaining minimal long-term financial risk.”

According to the report, merit budgets remain at the 3 percent level, a figure that’s been consistent in ASE’s last several annual salary survey reports. Among companies who reported data for 2016 and 2017, actual salaries increased 2.85 percent year-over-year, and further analysis indicates salary movement ranged from 2.5 percent for office, clerical, and technical classifications and 2.9 percent for supervisory, managerial and professional classifications.

Variable pay as a percent of base pay also showed significant growth at higher salary levels, and the report illustrates that employees eligible for variable compensation could expect short-term incentives of approximately 7.8 percent, 9.4 percent, 14.9 percent, and 37 percent for pay levels of $50,000-$75,000, $75,000-$100,000, $100,000-$150,000, and $150,000+, respectively.

Employees in engineering fields specifically reported average wage increases of 3.5 percent and higher, with mechanical engineering at 4.4 percent and industrial engineering at 3.58 percent. These increases are slightly lower than reported in 2016. Entry and lead engineering roles’ average wage increases (3.7 percent) are also growing at faster rates than middle level roles (2.1 percent).

Plant management roles saw a 1.2 percent increase in wages, compared to .7 percent last year, and the largest wage increases were seen in human resources roles, with average overall wage increases of 4.7 percent and technical compensation roles ranging from 6.1-9.8 percent increases.

A full copy of the report can be found here.

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