One in five workers in Australia hope to get a pay raise from their employers amid skyrocketing living costs, a new study says.
Business comparison website Finder launched a nationally representative survey to find out how workers are planning to deal with the current cost of living crisis.
Of the 632 people asked, 22% said they are looking to their employers to give them a pay raise over the next three months. In fact, 13% of respondents said they’re in the process of negotiating their pay.
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Finder’s Head of Consumer Research Graham Cooke believes the current COVID pandemic is still significantly impacting the country’s labour market.
“The lack of migrants and backpackers has severely dampened the number of workers, including in sectors like agriculture which traditionally rely on labour supply from overseas,” Cooke said.
“We're also in the midst of a COVID surge as well as the worst flu season in years, which means at any one time a large portion of a company's employees are off sick.”
Getting a pay raise in different ways
While workers have expressed their desire to get a pay raise, only a few of them have had their request granted. Fewer than one in five (17%) respondents actually received a salary bump over the past three months.
The study also showed how these workers were able to get a higher pay. About 9% of them said they approached their employer about raising their salary, while 8% said they received a higher pay by switching jobs.
Not everyone is as confident about talking about a pay raise with their boss. Of the total number of people asked, 9% said they wanted to get a salary bump. However, they’re afraid to ask one from their employer.
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Cost of living crisis: How employers are responding
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics offers a glimpse of how businesses are reacting to their employees’ needs.
Less than a third of companies (30%) said they plan to raise their workers’ wages over the next three months. This number increases to 49% among larger businesses.
Meanwhile, 8% of employers said they plan to approach the situation by introducing new benefits for their staff.
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The administrative and support services sector (59%) is most likely to increase workers’ salaries over the next three months. They are followed by accommodation & food services (42%), and information media and telecommunications services (40%).
On the other hand, the electricity, gas, water and waste services sector (15%) is least likely to grant workers’ requests for a pay raise. They are followed by health care and social assistance (20%) and construction (22%).