Pay Bump? Surveys Indicate Salary Increase of 3 Percent for 2015


NEW YORK—Employees of U. S. companies can expect a median base salary increase of 3 percent in 2015 across all main employee categories and most industries, still below pre-recession levels, according to separate research findings by pay consultancy Hay Group and WorldatWork, an association of total rewards professionals.

Preliminary results from the WorldatWork 2014-2015 Salary Budget Survey, published on July 8, show actual 2014 and projected 2015 salary budgets in the U.S. as follows: “The limited growth in salary budgets indicates that there has been no major change in the degree of upward pressure on wages, given the modest post-recession economic recovery.”

The Hay Group’s figures, released July 9, 2014, also forecast a median base salary increase of 3 percent in 2015 across U.S. executive, management, professional, clerical and operations roles, in line with the year over year median base salary increases of 3 percent the consultancy expects for 2014.


Hay Group’s forecast is based on data provided by over 400 U.S. organizations from March through June 2014. Respondents include small to large U.S. organizations across a wide range of industries. Hay Group expects the 3 percent median base salary increase to hold steady across most U.S. industries, including chemical, consumer products, financial services, health insurance, industrial goods and utilities.

Sectors with salary increases that vary from the general industry outlook typically have business performance expectations either significantly above or below the general trend, according to Hay Group. Entering 2015, U.S. employers will increasingly look to align reward programs to company financial and strategic performance, according to Hay Group. Their research shows:

• Increasing future emphasis on improving their variable pay programs (56 percent of respondents).

• Improving key nonfinancial reward programs (63 percent), such as career development opportunities.

Hedley Lawson, Contributing Editor
Managing Partner
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC