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Surprising industry workers feel most underpaid

Some workers are calling for a pay rise more than others. Here’s who.

Australian money piled on top of itself and a crowd of people walking down the street to represent money workers are making.
Around half of Aussie workers are anticipating a pay rise this year. (Source: Getty)

Payrise expectations have skyrocketed, with more than half of Aussie workers reporting they’re anticipating a salary increase this year, according to a new survey.

On average, almost half of Australian workers (49 per cent) expected an uplift in pay of up to 6 per cent, with more than one in 10 (13 per cent) expecting to receive a pay rise of 10 per cent or more, the ADP Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View survey found.

Alarmingly, almost half of Australian workers (49 per cent) felt they were underpaid in their current roles and more than half (58 per cent) were not satisfied with their salary.

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Surprising job feeling the most underpaid

The desire for a pay rise is strongest among Millennials, with two-thirds (66 per cent) of people aged 25-34 a pay rise in the next 12 months.

Among industries, IT/Telecommunications (70 per cent), construction (67 per cent), and manufacturing (66 per cent) had the highest rates of expecting a pay rise.

The national average salary for an IT Specialist is $97,791, according to data from Glassdoor.

“Employers have the difficult task of weighing up the expectation for higher pay against their own challenges around rising costs and tightening profit margins,” ADP ANZ managing director Kylie Baullo said.

“Workers are confident that they will get a pay rise from their current company but, if not, there’s a strong sense that they’ll be able to secure one by moving jobs. The implications for talent acquisition and retention are substantial.”

Baullo said employers not in a financial position to offer a decent pay rise needed to start thinking creatively about how to retain staff.

"With workers and working families experiencing the highest increases in cost of living registered over the past two decades, it’s no surprise employees are expecting their pay to keep up with the ongoing crisis,” she said.

“Workers across lower and middle-income bands have found that their disposable incomes have been severely hit. Spending on essentials, let alone luxuries, is being tightly squeezed as they grapple with rising rents, increasing interest rates and escalating food and energy bills. Even if inflation has peaked, it looks like it will take some time to return to more comfortable levels.”

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