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2017 Compensation Survey Finds Increased Pay, Talent Wars

AGAWAM — The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) released its summary findings from its 2017 Southern New England Compensation survey. Highlights of the 2017 findings include increased average pay in many sectors and, at the same time, increased pressure of losing top talent to competitors.

Representing more than 300 benchmark positions spanning a number of job-family categories, the survey include breakouts by industry, geographic region, company size, and more. More than 200 companies throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island participated in this year’s survey, with the largest participation from employers with 100 or less employees. The full, comprehensive report is available to participating members at no charge.

“We see that employers have needed to be strategic in allocating their budgetary dollars, especially when it comes to directing those dollars towards more vulnerable jobs. These jobs may have been subjected to past wage freezes or impacted by wage compression due to rising minimum wage rates throughout the region,” said Mark Adams, director of HR Solutions at EANE.

Average pay in non-exempt level positions has risen from 2016 levels, particularly in such job families as education, engineering, facilities, finance/banking, production, and hospitality. While the rise in pay outpaced the general growth in the consumer price index (CPI) from its 2016 levels, the pay growth is still being outpaced by skyrocketing benefit costs that have taxed employer operating budgets and have thus limited what they can provide. (The CPI increased by 2.3% on average when compared to the 2016 levels during the reporting period.)

Despite these rising operational costs, employers also face the countervailing pressure and risk of losing skilled workers to competitors who are challenged by talent shortages amidst a backdrop of very low unemployment. (Unemployment rates declined from 2016 throughout the Southern New England region in the range of 1.2 to 2.0%, depending upon the specific metropolitan area.)

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