Survey Reports Minimal Change in Salary Budgets

On July 31, WorldatWork, the association for compensation professionals, released results of their 45th annual Salary Budget Survey. This year’s survey includes 5,499 respondents in 19 countries. It measures data including base salary increases, merit budgets, salary structure, promotions, and variable pay plans.

WorldatWork Graph


The 2018 results showed only slight movement from previous years, up to 3.1% annual rate of adjustment from 3.0% in 2017. WorldatWork projects more of the same for 2019, with a minimal overall salary increase to 3.2%.

In an interview with Wolters-Kluwer, Alison Avalos, Director, Membership & TR Strategy at WorldatWork comments, “Organizations know they need to offer competitive pay to attract and retain top talent but pay isn’t the differentiator that it once was. Staying competitive with pay increases will likely continue, but we don’t anticipate dramatic increases despite the tight labor market and changes to the tax code.”

Other selected results:

  • On average, 89% of employees will receive salary increases in 2018
  • 8.6% of employees received promotions in 2017, up from 7.9% the previous year. Promotional pay raises increased from 8.3% to 8.7% over the same period.
  • Fewer than 5% of organizations plan to pass tax savings along to employees via salary increases.

The WorldatWork 2018-2019 Salary Budget Survey is available for purchase on their website.


WorldatWork Salary Budget Survey,, 7/31/18.
WorldatWork survey shows promotional activity made big jump this year, but salary increase budgets did not, Wolters-Kluwer, 8/1/18