2021 Salary Projections
2021 Salaries Will Increase 2.7%
Best Recruiting and our parent company CNI Recruiting compiled the results of seven salary surveys of companies throughout the U.S and Canada. The surveys were conducted by respected sources of salary information. We averaged the survey respondents’ projected salary increases and determined that U.S. salaries will increase an average of 2.7% across all employment categories in 2021. The average increases ranged from 2.2% to 3%.
2021 Salary Increase Projections by Organization
The following are the organizations that conducted the surveys, brief descriptions of their primary functions (in parentheses), the projected average 2021 salary increases from their surveys and appropriate comments:
ERI (Compensation data): Projected salary increase is 3.0%. ERI reported that salary increase percentages decreased throughout 2020.
MRA (Employer professional organization): Projected salary increase is 2.2%. The projection for companies planning increases is 2.9%. The projection for all companies surveyed including companies projecting no increases is 2.2%.
Mercer (Employer data): Projected salary increase is 2.5%. Over 800 U.S. companies were surveyed. Approximately 500 companies projected increases averaging 2.8% and approximately 300 companies projected no increases. The average projected increase for all companies surveyed including companies projecting no increases is 2.5%.
Salary.com (Compensation data): Projected salary increase is 3.0%. Over 1,300 companies representing twenty industries in the U.S. and Canada were surveyed.
The Conference Board (Business research): Projected salary increase is 3.0. The Conference Board survey comments included the following: The number of workers seeking employment is much lower than the number of unemployed workers due to the large number of individuals who have withdrawn from the work force.
Willis Towers Watson (Insurance, risk management, and advisory services): Projected salary increase is 2.6%. 705 U.S. companies were surveyed and 84% projected pay increases.
WorldatWork (Compensation data): Projected salary increase is 2.9%. WorldatWork is planning another survey of 2021 salary projections and anticipates a lower projected salary increase as the result of Covid-19.
Additional Survey Comments
- The average projected salary increase for 2021 of 2.7% is significantly lower than the 2020 projection of 3.2% due to Covid-19.
- Some survey respondents indicated a lack of confidence in their projections due to the uncertainty of when a Covid-19 vaccine would be widely distributed.
- Many companies are experimenting with various approaches to remote work as the result of Covid-19 including 100% work at home and a hybrid approach of 2, 3, or 4 days per week working at home.
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