Survey: Salary Budgets Growing to Attract, Keep Staff

The American Society of Employers (ASE) in Troy has released the results of its 2023-2024 Salary Budget Survey, which show that employers are increasing salary budgets to remain competitive in the market.
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Payroll paperwork
ASE in Troy has completed its latest hiring survey, which indicates that businesses are increasing salary budgets to attract and keep qualified employees. // Stock photo

The American Society of Employers (ASE) in Troy has released the results of its 2023-2024 Salary Budget Survey, which show that employers are increasing salary budgets to remain competitive in the market.

The survey analyzes both present and anticipated trends in salary budgets, pay structure modifications, and incentive-based compensation programs provided by employers. The results indicate that non-exempt, hourly, nonunion employees saw the highest increases at 5.1 percent in contrast to 4.5 percent in 2022.

As businesses navigate evolving challenges, a shroud of uncertainty envelops budget projections for the upcoming year in 2024.  Specifically, the data shows that out of the 164 companies surveyed, half (50 percent) of them have yet to actively discuss salary adjustment options for next year.

Highlights of the ASE 2023-2024 Salary Budget Survey include:

  • In the previous 12 months, 69 percent of employers made market adjustments to remain competitive in the market.  This market adjustment in compensation refers to an unscheduled change in an employee’s pay, made outside of the regular review cycle, often prompted by factors like retention needs, market shifts, exceptional accomplishments, or equity considerations.
  • The survey results suggest that most market adjustments were provided to specific individuals (69 percent) or specific positions (53 percent).
  • Average total increase budgets (i.e., any combination of merit, general or other increases) for 2023 were:
    • 5.1 percent (non-exempt, hourly, nonunion)
    • 4.1 percent (non-exempt, salaried)
    • 4.2 percent (exempt, salaried)
    • 4.5 percent (officers/executives)
  • Average projected total increase budgets for 2024 are:
    • 4.7 percent (non-exempt, hourly, nonunion)
    • 3.6 percent (non-exempt, salaried)
    • 3.7 percent (exempt, salaried)
    • 3.6 percent (officers/executives)
  • The average pay increase percentage for top performers in 2023 was 5.4 percent.

“While we have seen larger increases than in years past, recent economic conditions appear to be resulting in some cautiousness among employers,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE. “That said, talent shortages in specific areas will likely keep wage pressures alive as employers seek to attract and retain valuable talent.”

A total of 164 organizations participated in the survey. Organizations with 1-100 employees made up approximately 45 percent of the survey sample, while organizations with between 101-499 employees represented nearly 38 percent of the sample.

The remaining 17 percent of the sample came from organizations with more than 500 employees.  A variety of industries have been represented in the survey, with durable goods manufacturing (42.1 percent) leading the pack. Trades and services (22 percent) were the second-largest industry representation.

Full survey results are available free of charge to ASE members. Non-members can purchase the full report for $825.  Request to purchase the report here.