U.S. Workers Share Salary Expectations and Priorities in Today’s Job Market

2023 Salary Guide From Robert Half reveals how employers are stepping up pay, perks and benefits to win over talent

When it comes to what workers want in job market, salary remains top of mind, research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. According to the just-released 2023 Salary Guide, companies are under pressure to offer higher compensation to current and new staff for a number of reasons. But beyond adjusting pay, what else are employers doing to attract and retain top talent in a continued tight hiring market?

  • Salaries are trending upward. To recruit skilled professionals, 46% of employers are offering higher starting salaries. In addition, 83% of managers who increased base compensation for new hires in the past year have also made pay adjustments for current staff.

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  • Perks are more plentiful. More than 8 in 10 companies (83%) have added new perks in response to the challenging hiring market, the most common being:
    1. Remote work opportunities (40%)
    2. Mental health resources (36%)
    3. Wellness programs (33%)
  • Raise requests are coming — and employers should prepare. Despite overall salary growth in the United States, more than half of professionals (55%) feel underpaid and 48% will ask for a raise if they don’t get one — or the amount is lower than expected — by year-end. Further, 4 in 10 workers (41%) would consider changing employers for a 10% increase in pay.
  • Professionals are showing their worth. To better position themselves for a raise, workers are:
    1. Taking on responsibilities outside their job description (50%)
    2. Acquiring new and relevant skills or certifications (33%)
    3. Researching salaries and sharing discrepancies with their manager (30%)
  • Workers remain confident. Fifty-six percent of professionals are more likely to request a higher starting salary today compared to 12 months ago. An almost equal percentage (54%) feel they remain in control when it comes to negotiating pay, perks and benefits.

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“As long as job openings outnumber job seekers, workers will have more leverage to negotiate for what they want,” said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald. “Staying on top of compensation levels is a critical first step to recruiting and retaining top talent — and preparing for potential market fluctuations.”

Visit the Robert Half salary calculator to view location-specific salary ranges and national data for hundreds of positions.

McDonald added, “When weighing career options, workers often consider salary first and foremost. While it’s important for professionals to know their worth, they should also think carefully about other make-or-break factors that contribute to job satisfaction, like a supportive manager and team and the ability to work remotely.”

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