It's the end of the year and, chances are, most of us have got money on our minds. Regardless of whether you love or low-key hate the current position you're in, chances are you're looking to get a nice little raise as we head into yearly review season.
Here's the good news: According to projections, including a survey by Willis Towers Watson, slightly larger pay raises are expected in 2019. The reason? This past year, the unemployment rates fell sharply and companies are increasingly attempting to reward and retain their best employees. And though these may not be predictions for your specific job or company, being familiar with these numbers could potentially have some real-life impacts on your own career — and income.
So, what do these trends and stats mean for you and your job? First, arming yourself with data is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success when asking for a raise or promotion. And, while it's a good idea to talk to colleagues about earnings — this kind of transparency only makes employees stronger — anecdotal stats that you read online or get from talking to friends and colleagues are much stronger when combined with real statistics.
"It’s up to you to stay current on trends, skills, salary information and anything else that pertains to your job," Ariel Lopez, former recruiter, career coach, and founder and CEO of 2020Shift, told Refinery29. "If you have stats that say you should be earning more, simply share them with your boss or someone in HR."
While this study took a look at 814 different companies, each representing "a cross-section of industries." The new projections predict that, for companies granting salary increases, non-management salary employees are projected to have an average salary increase 0f 3%, compared to 3% and 2.9% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. For management, excluding executives, the average projected salary increase is 3.1%, which is the same as 2018. For hourly wage workers, the average projected salary increase is also 3%, up slightly from 2.9% last year.
Granted, these numbers do sound small, but it's good to remember that they represent an average. If you are given a raise that's larger than this, these numbers might not be necessary to mention, but if you find yourself in a position where you're being offered less than this, these numbers could be a good thing to mention, and could potentially get you to a higher amount than you were initially being offered. Again, it will depend on your situation, but familiarizing yourself with and utilizing numbers is always a good idea.
Of course, every workplace will vary in procedure and culture, and individual performance reviews are also likely to vary — surveys demonstrated that employers intend to give their top performers considerably bigger pay bumps — but arming yourself with these statistics might put you in a stronger position to negotiate if you feel you're being shortchanged with a smaller raise, or no raise at all. (Not sure how to prepare for asking for a raise? Read our guide on how to ask for a raise to help land yourself on the higher end!).
"If you have stats that say you should be earning more, share them with your boss or someone in HR," says Lopez, adding that, in order to get the outcome they want, individuals should compile any information or reasoning that helps to justify why they are deserving of a salary increase. After all, Lopez concludes, the main reason why people don't get satisfactory raises or promotions is because they don't ask.