Most Australians will ask for a pay rise in 2019

 Over half (57 per cent) of Australian employees will ask for a pay rise in 2019

  • Men more likely to ask for pay rises than women
  • Australian Capital Territory workers are happiest with their salaries in comparison to other states

Over half (57 per cent) of Australian employees will ask for a pay rise in 2019,  according to research by The Adecco Group — the world’s leading recruitment agency. This shows a marked increase on last year, when just a fifth asked for a raise. Almost half (46 per cent) of employees are currently unhappy with their salary.

The research, which accompanies The Adecco Group’s 2019 Australia Salary Guides, presents responses from 5,000 Australian employers and employees to shed light on their perspectives on pay. Almost half (45 per cent) of employees expect an increase between 3 and 7 per cent, and one quarter (26 per cent) expect wage growth above 7 per cent.

In line with these demands, Australian employers plan to raise salaries more than last year. While 69 per cent increased salaries in 2018, 86 per cent plan to do so in 2019. Similarly, a third (35 per cent) offered raises over 3 per cent last year, compared to around half (47 per cent) in 2019. 

From an industry perspective, manufacturing (20 per cent) and IT (15 per cent) are the most likely sectors to increase pay beyond 7 per cent. 

Rafael Moyano, CEO, Australia, The Adecco Group commented, “Last year’s slow wage growth means employees are motivated to increase their salaries over the next twelve months. Luckily, most businesses are in a better position to deliver this year, enabling them to please staff and fuel growth.”

Men More Likely to Ask for a Pay Rise than Women

63 per cent of men will ask for a pay rise in 2019, compared to half of women. This trend is also reflected in 2018 figures, where 23 per cent of men and 17 per cent of women requested a raise.


Employees aged between 31 and 45 are the most willing to ask for a salary increase, with over two-thirds (65 per cent) confirming this intention. 18 to 30-year-olds are the second most likely at 58 per cent, while the over-55s are the least likely, at just 41 per cent. 

ACT based employees are the happiest with their salaries, indicated by agreement from 58 per cent of the state’s respondents. Victoria and NSW employees were the second and third happiest, with 56 and 54 per cent of residents agreeing respectively. Around two fifths (43 per cent) of Tasmanian workers are happy with their pay, placing the island state bottom overall.

Career Progression More Important than Salary for Retention

When employees were asked about their main reasons for leaving an organisation, the majority (44 per cent) cited a lack of career opportunities, followed by salary concerns (25 per cent).

However, over a quarter of employers (26 per cent) have no annual salary review process and one fifth (19 per cent) for only some staff. Just over half (55 per cent) offer annual pay reviews for all.

Most businesses (65 per cent) now offer benefits outside of salaries — the three most common being study qualifications support (29 per cent), additional annual leave (19 per cent) and car allowance (21 per cent).

Two thirds of employees (66 per cent) said they are upskilling to stay relevant, with 62 per cent taking advantage of workplace learning opportunities.

Moyano added: “It’s important that all deserving employees benefit from raises, rather than just those that are most vocal. Our research shows that women and older workers are less likely to ask for increases, making it essential for companies to ensure that everyone is paid what they deserve.

“While salaries are important, employers must also offer professional development opportunities to keep staff engaged. Workplace training and investment in professional study can help, but this must be accompanied by regular performance reviews. The provision of clear goals means employees can track their own progress and feel empowered to move their careers forwards.”


About the Research

The Adecco Group surveyed over 5,000 Australian employers and employees within The Adecco Group Australia Candidate Pool.

About The Adecco Group

The Adecco Group is the world’s leading provider of workforce solutions, transforming the world of work through talent and technology. Each year, The Adecco Group provides approximately 700,000 people around the world with career opportunities. The Adecco Group offers a wide variety of services that includes temporary staffing, permanent placement, career transition and talent development, as well as outsourcing and consulting. The Adecco Group partners with employers, candidates, colleagues and governments, sharing its labour market expertise and insights to boost prosperity through the power of work.

The Adecco Group is a Fortune Global 500 company, based in Zurich, Switzerland, with more than 33,000 FTE employees and approximately 5,100 branches in 60 countries and territories around the world. Adecco Group AG is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN).

/Public Release.