Report: Wage Increases Lower Than Expected, According to Livonia’s American Society of Employers

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The American Society of Employers (ASE), a Livonia-based employer association that has served Michigan employers for 115 years, Wednesday released its 2018 Compensation Survey results. While expected wage increases have not come through, the human resources, medical, and engineering fields saw the highest increases.

“Despite historically low unemployment rates, we have yet to see the broad-based wage increases we were anticipating,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE. “This trend may signal that employers have shed their reliance on base pay as the sole mechanism to attract and retain talent.  It may also signal that the Great Recession continues to cast a long shadow over employers. However, despite the muted wage growth, the truth may be in the details.  A deeper analysis of the data does highlight pockets of wage growth where workforce dynamics like employee turnover and a lack of qualified talent may have lifted salaries for some.”

A total of 354 companies, 56.4 percent of which are located in metro Detroit, responded to the survey. Nearly 60 percent of respondents are classified as non-automotive suppliers. About 82.5 percent of the responding organizations have up to 500 employees.

An average merit increase for all job sectors is projected to be at 2.9 percent for 2018. Organizations offering variable or incentive pay showed a slight decline to 81 percent in 2018 compared to 84 percent in 2017. Human resources, engineering support, medical, and design/drafting fields all witnessed average wage increases of 3.5 percent or higher, at 3.9 percent, 3.9 percent, 3.8 percent, and 3.5 percent, respectively. The average wage for entry and lead/senior engineering roles are growing faster, at 3.7 percent, than middle level roles, at 2.1 percent.

The information systems job sector has seen a 13.8 percent increase in wage growth over the past five years.

Emerging jobs include data architect with a $114,658 annual salary, statistician with a $89,345 salary, senior data analyst with a $91,303 salary, and data analyst with a $54,241 salary.

Click here for an infographic with more information.

ASE is a nonprofit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers and has been operating since 1902.

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