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Salary trends: past, present and future

The infographic below highlights some of the findings from ECA's 2016/17 Salary Trends Survey and how they compare to previous years' survey results.

The global heat map above shows how countries size up against one another next year for forecast real* salary increases. According to company predictions from around the globe, nominal wages will rise 5% on average in 2017. After factoring in inflation, the global average real* salary increases are forecast to be 1.5%, which is slightly down on 2016’s average of 1.6%.

As can be seen from the timeline above, the regional averages for real salary increases have fluctuated significantly over the last 10 years. Global events were clearly responsible for causing huge variation in the regional highs and lows in the late 2000s. The effects of the global financial crisis took hold in 2008 and salary freezes for local staff became more common. In addition, rising inflation brought declining real wage increases. The most notable decline in salaries was seen in Africa and the Middle East, where the average real wage increase dropped from a minimal (but positive) increase of 0.6% in 2007, to a large real wage decrease of 3% on average in 2008.

In 2016, each of the regions still look to be in a worse position than they were pre-2008 in terms of the real wage increases experienced by local staff. Looking ahead into next year, wage increases are predicted to be lower for local staff in Asia Pacific and Europe than in 2016. Wage increases are anticipated to be higher than 2016 in the Americas and Africa & the Middle East. However, it is important to note that due to the various political shocks seen in 2016, such as the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the outcome from the US presidential election, these predictions could change.

A detailed analysis on the key findings from this year’s Salary Trends Survey can be found in my latest Salary Trends article here.

* ECA’s Salary Trends Survey analyses current and projected salary increases for local employees. They provide information on ‘real' salary increases by factoring in inflation rates. This year’s survey was based on information collected from 260 multinational companies across 72 countries.

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