Queensland Workers Pay Trends to Change

The nation's leading survey of salaries and human resources trends found that large companies in Queensland passed on pay increases below the national average over the past 12 months. That may be about to change.

The Australian Institute of Management's 2011 National Salary Survey reports that this year's average pay increase for large companies in Queensland is 3.9 per cent, as compared to the national average of 4.0 per cent and is lower than 4.1 per cent increase recorded for large companies in the region over the same period last year.

Conditions are expected to improve over the next 12 months however, with large companies in Queensland predicting an increase of 4.1 per cent, notably higher than the national average forecast of 3.8 per cent.

Now in its 47th year, the AIM National Salary Survey 2011 (Large Companies edition) is based on the responses of 506 companies throughout Australia earning more than $10 million annual turnover, covering over 250 job roles.

The 2011 survey indicates that attracting and retaining staff, while containing employment costs, will be a key challenge for Australian organisations over the next 12 months.

"A tightening labour market, skills shortages and the likelihood of a rate rise all point to a wages blow out if employers can't find ways to keep good people without big wage hikes," said AIM Qld & NT CEO Vivienne Anthon FAIM.

"For the past two years, it has really been an employer's market but that is changing. Many staff who stayed put during the downturn are now on the hunt for new opportunities. Savvier employers are seeking creative ways to motivate people, without offering big salary hikes.

"A booming Western Australian economy and the disaster ravaged Eastern Seaboard States are creating unprecedented demand for skilled labour and this in itself is going to put greater pressure on wages.

"And although pay will always remain an important factor, developing and implementing effective training, career development and succession plans at all levels across the organisation is key to attracting and retaining good people," Ms Anthon adds.

The survey found that over one-half (52.6 per cent) of large companies reported an increase in permanent staff levels in the past 12 months - compared to 40.5 per cent in the 2010 survey. Only 27.3 per cent of large companies reported a decrease in permanent staff levels (compared to 39.6 per cent in the 2010 Survey).

Low and falling unemployment levels over the past twelve months are likely to have contributed to the around one-half (49.7 per cent) of large companies reporting difficulties in recruiting some staff due to skills shortages, a figure which is significantly higher than the 36.9 per cent of large companies that reported difficulties recruiting some staff in the 2010 Survey.