This year saw millions of Australians experience pay cuts or lose their jobs entirely as a result of the Covid-19 recession. But while overall salaries remained fairly subdued, some lucky Aussies saw their pay surge, new data has revealed.
Experienced digital marketing strategy professionals recorded one of the highest annual base salary increase of 9.5 per cent this year, according to Mercer’s 2020 total remuneration survey.
That’s three times the average increase for similar roles, with social media marketing and web content marketing roles experienced rises of just 2 and 2.5 per cent respectively.
Experienced multimedia web design professionals also saw their base salary increase by a whopping 14 per cent, while entry-level information systems security professionals saw their salaries increase by 8 per cent.
The increase in base salaries has aligned with a surge in demand for digital roles as coronavirus forced companies to go online, Mercer’s head of market insights, data and analytics, Chi Tran, said.
“This year a new trend has emerged – the digitalisation of interaction,” Tran said.
“The way we work and socialise has been forced to transform, and the way we understand all types of customers through data insights and targeted web campaigns has shaped evolving business strategies.”
Tran said companies were forced, for the first time, to rely almost entirely on their digital user experience, and their own technological infrastructure, which meant digital marketing and security roles were in high demand.
“Think remote working, video calls and heavier reliance on online transactions – the way in which customers have adapted has accelerated the digitalisation of workforce transformation,” she said.
“On a granular level, undertaking this level of change requires new skill sets and organisations must ensure they are investing in the right talent through market insights to remain competitive and evolve to this new environment.”
What will salaries look like in 2021?
While it’s clear demand for roles in sales, marketing, IT and engineering will remain high, remuneration in these roles isn’t as certain.
Around 20 per cent of companies surveyed indicated their salary increase budget is expected to be lower than it was in 2020, while 14 per cent reported their budgets would be the same or similar.
Nearly half of all companies don’t expect to cut salaries, but the other half have indicated they will continue to monitor the situation, rather than make a call early.
But with Australia in its first recession in nearly 30 years, wages will likely remain low for the foreseeable future.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, wages grew just 0.2 per cent over the June quarter, and just 1.8 per cent over the year - that’s the lowest increase in history.
Going forward, the Government expects wages to remain low, with Budget papers indicating growth to sit at around 1.25 per cent until June 2021.
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