Wage, salary survey shows slight hikes

Despite pandemic, pay increased by average of 2% from 2019 in 18 major job families in West Michigan.
Maggie McPhee

The Employers’ Association (TEA) this month released its 2020-2021 Wage & Salary Survey, and the results show the pandemic didn’t affect wage growth as much as many expected this year.

The survey represents data from 251 organizations from West Michigan for 352 jobs within 18 major job families. The results reveal reported pay rates increased overall an average of 2% from 2019, although Maggie McPhee, director of information services with TEA, said since the report was published, average increases appear to be getting closer to 2.8% or 3%.

“It’s not just across-the-board (data), because there are different employee groups in different companies that are going to be paying differently,” she said. “Some companies are doing really well, and they’re rewarding their people for that, and other companies are not necessarily doing quite as well; some are looking at layoffs. You have to take into consideration the industry and the size of the company and a few other factors.”

Although the full report is behind a paywall, TEA shared the following example findings of yearly wages and hourly salaries in different job groups:

  • Administrative assistant II — $41,980.63 in 2019 to $43,528.47 in 2020, an average increase of 3.7%
  • Accountant II — $56,638.38 in 2019 to $58,412.64 in 2020, an average increase of 3.1%
  • Operating systems programmer II — $81,954.15 in 2019 to $82,097.33 in 2020, an average increase of 0.2%
  • Traffic dispatcher — $22.16 in 2019 to $23.44 in 2020, an increase of 5.8%
  • Tool and die maker III — $29.91 in 2019 to $30.10 in 2020, an increase of 0.6%

The survey wage data is calculated by average, weighted average, median, 25th/75th quartiles and 10th/90th percentiles. Variable pay (bonus) data (usually tied to company performance) also is displayed. In addition, the overall data for each job can be compared by company size, industry, geographic location and union status.

McPhee said the wage and salary trends for 2020 are in line with TEA’s expectations in the sense that the highest rates of increase were in the industries that have positions that are the hardest to fill due to competition in the labor pool and industry growth rates in West Michigan.

According to the workforce development agency West Michigan Works! in previous Business Journal reporting, the region’s highest-demand industries are currently IT, construction, skilled manufacturing, health care and agribusiness.

For more information or to order the 2020-2021 Wage & Salary Survey report, people can contact McPhee at mcphee@teagr.org or (616) 698-1167.

Founded in 1939 in West Michigan, The Employers’ Association is a not-for-profit association based in Grand Rapids that provides practical human resource solutions to local businesses, many of which have business operations around the world. The association views human resources as more of a risk management than a compliance profession, and it works to help hundreds of companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability while seeking operational excellence through practical human resources and management advice, training, benchmark information and organizational development services.

More about TEA is at teagr.org.

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