When it comes to salary budget increases, the Mile High City is decidedly average. According to WorldatWork’s 2014-2015 Salary Budget Survey, Denver is on track to meet the national average across the country. According to an infographic provided by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average salary budget increase in Denver is projected to be 3.0 percent for 2014, while the national average is projected by WorldatWork and other studies cited by SHRM, specifically a study by the Hay Group and the Conference Board, to be the same.
When it comes to salary budget increase averages, how does Denver rank among other major cities across the country? SHRM reports that there are no “extreme outliers” in any of the studies, but five cities were in notable decline between 2013 and 2014: Detroit, Miami, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa. In contrast, three cities rose above the 2014 national average: Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
It is important to note that these statistics are decidedly “average” in that pay for performance continues to play a significant role in how pay increases are distributed to employees, regardless of any increase in the average salary budget. In 2013, the top four percent of employees, or “top performers,” received an average pay increase of 4 percent, while low performers averaged a measly 0.6 to no increase. WorldatWork projects that top performers will receive an average increase of 4.1 percent in 2014. It is also important to note that 74 percent of respondents in 2014 are using market-based pay increases, and every survey cited by SHRM, including their own, indicates that employers are increasingly using bonus programs to retain good employees in a growing domestic economy.