Survey: Michigan Wages Still Recovering from Pandemic, Tight Labor Market

ASE, an employer association in Troy that provides people-management information and services to Michigan employers, released its 2021 Michigan Compensation Survey, which gathers annual wage and salary data from around the state.
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ASE survey image
ASE has released its 2021 Michigan Compensation Survey. // Courtesy of ASE

ASE, an employer association in Troy that provides people-management information and services to Michigan employers, released its 2021 Michigan Compensation Survey, which gathers annual wage and salary data from around the state.

The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the state’s wages based on data from a matched sample (the same yearly sample of companies) and showed just 2.1 percent wage growth, demonstrating the fiscal hesitancy of many employers last year, says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE.

There were some job groups that saw wages rise faster than average. Production and manufacturing jobs saw a 2.8 percent increase, and light assembly position wages increased more than 6 percent to $15.14 per hour.

“Employers of all sizes should take steps now to evaluate their wages and salaries,” says Corrado. “As employers emerge from the pandemic, they are still contending with its lingering effects — specifically, a lack of available workers.”

Highlights from the survey include a small gap between metro Detroit’s increase of 2.3 percent and the statewide increase of 2.1 percent. Merit budgets — money for performance-based pay increases — is up slightly from 2020 averaging 2.8 percent, which is closer to 2019 levels.

A total of 301 companies, 57 percent of them located in the metro Detroit region, responded to the survey, which was distributed to human resource professionals in January 2021. Nearly 40 percent of the respondents are classified as automotive suppliers, and 461 jobs were reported on. Eighty-two percent of the organizations that responded have between one and 500 employees.

Request a copy of the full report here.

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