Salary Trends for 2022: Numbers to Know in Labor Market

Many U.S. workers feel overdue for a pay raise, new research from talent solutions firm Robert Half shows.

According to the just-released 2022 Salary Guide, companies need to enhance their compensation strategy, or they risk losing top talent to competing offers. Following are five key trends for employers to note:

  • Employees feel underpaid – Nearly half of workers (49 percent) think they’re earning less than they deserve. Gen Z professionals (57 percent) and women (52 percent) are most likely to feel shortchanged. View the full results by age and gender and for 28 U.S. cities.
  • Workers may walk without a raise – Thirty-one percent would consider quitting their job if they don’t get a pay bump by year’s end. Working parents (36 percent) and respondents ages 18 to 24 (48 percent) most likely are to make a career move if their salary doesn’t grow.
  • Salaries are rising – Starting compensation for U.S. professional occupations is expected to increase 3.8 percent overall in 2022. Roles in strong demand, such as revenue cycle analyst and database administrator, may see even bigger gains. In addition, 48 percent of employers are offering signing bonuses to entice new hires.
  • Compensation for remote staff varies – When recruiting for open roles, 6 in 10 managers will first look locally and then outside their city if it takes too long to find skilled candidates; 18 percent are searching anywhere from the start given the talent shortage. Companies hiring remote workers are setting their pay by:
    • Employer’s office location: 62 percent
    • Employee’s location: 38 percent
  • Candidates are considering the full package – When weighing job offers, it’s not all about the money. Workers most covet:
    • Flexible work schedules: 66 percent
    • Remote work options: 56 percent
    • Employee discounts: 37 percent

“Job openings are at a record high, and workers with in-demand skills have more negotiating power,” said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald. “In this tight labor market, increasing salaries is table stakes for employers. Companies must regularly revisit pay ranges and discuss career paths with employees to align on expectations.”

McDonald added, “While salary prospects are brighter for 2022, professionals should always do their research before asking for a raise or jumping for an opportunity with higher pay. Many factors contribute to job satisfaction, such as advancement opportunities and schedule flexibility, so it’s important to consider the full picture before making a move.”