Who should and shouldn't expect a pay rise this year?
Australia's IT workers can expect the most generous pay rises this year, with the field topping the list of the most generous industries, according to the latest Hays Salary Guide.
About 20% of employers in IT and telecommunications intend to reward staff with salary bumps of 6% or more at their next review.
Advertising and media, and construction, property and engineering can also expect generous pay increases at 16% and 9% respectively, while the public sector, financial services, and resources and mining workers can expect raises below 3%.
Hays says 65% of employers plan to offer raises of up to 3% during employee reviews, and 19% intend to award an increase of 3% to 6%.
But 11% won't increase salaries at all.
While 15% of Australians asked for a pay rise in the past 12 months and were declined, a further 17% were successful, and almost half intend to ask for a raise at their next review.
Hays surveyed more than 2950 organisations, representing just over 3 million employees, to compile the salary data, which shows that employers have a positive outlook but remain cautious when it comes to salaries.
"Despite rising headcounts, business activity and sentiment, a cautious approach to salary increases prevails," says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.
While 5% of employers will offer pay rises of more than 6%, this has fallen from last year.
Deligiannis says sedate salary rises across most industries are at odds with other trends.
"For instance, employees are responding to rapid technological change by investing in their own skills development," he says.
"They're also more productive thanks to technology. Add the number of employers who say business activity has and will continue to rise, and such small salary increases will test the loyalty of employees."
In all but rare instances, supply and demand has failed to influence salaries, he says.
"But Australia's strengthening economy, rising business activity, growing headcounts and skill shortages cannot be overlooked for too long.
"The piercing question, then, is how high will turnover reach before typical salary increases climb above 3%.