2016: The Year of Big Pay Raises

With talent at a premium, companies are expected pay handsomely next year.

With a salary bump, you could be as happy as this guy. (PathDoc/Shutterstock)

With a salary bump, you could be as happy as this guy. (PathDoc/Shutterstock)

As the economic recovery continues, employers have a choice: Make talented workers feel appreciated or risk losing them to a competitor.

What better way to show the love then with a handsome pay raise. For a talented employee who’s been going above-and-beyond all year, it’s just the thing that can keep them off the job boards and engaged in their day-to-day work.

With Friday morning’s announcement that national unemployment fell to 5.1 percent, there’s plenty of reasons to expect big pay increases in 2016. Robert Half predicts that average starting salaries will increase by more than 4 percent, according to this article from Inc. magazine. Here’s a sector-by-sector breakdown:

  • Technology — 5.3 percent
  • Finance and accounting — 4.7 percent
  • Creative and marketing — 3.8 percent
  • Administrative and office support — 3.8 percent
  • Legal — 3.1 percent

Robert Half also highlighted some current trends:

  • Demand for skilled talent outweighs supply in several areas, particularly in mobile, big data, compliance and security roles.
  • Employers are offering more flexibility, perks and bonuses to attract and retain staff.
  • Firms are accelerating the hiring process so they don’t lose top candidates. (Except Apple, where the process can take four months and includes three screenings and five FaceTimes before you even get a trip to its Cupertino HQ.)

Robert Half also highlighted professions with the biggest pay raises:

  • Big data engineers — 8.9 percent
  • Mobile app developers — 8.2 percent
  • Content strategists — 8.1 percent