Best raises found Asia and Middle East

If you are highly mobile and motivated by pay raises, then perhaps you should be looking for work in Asia or the Middle East.

According to an Aon Hewitt salary survey that spanned the globe, workers in Asia and the Middle East will continue to receive higher salary increases than workers in any other part of the world.

Aon Hewitt looked at six regions — North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East — and calculated average salary hikes for 2012, 2013 and raises  projected into 2014.

Once inflation was factored out of the numbers, Asian increases led the pack at 1.6 percent in 2012, 2.2 percent in 2013, and a projected 2.1 percent next year.

Raises look more substantial in Africa — 7.6 percent, 7.5 percent, 5.8 percent — until the effects of inflation are removed. Then, the rates quickly drop to -0.4 percent, -0.5 percent and -1 percent, respectively.

North American raises just sort of chug along in last place until inflation is removed, and then North America just inches past Latin America and Europe. Asia and the Middle East remain strong across the board.

Among the regional observations made by the researchers:

  • Africa – Average salary increases in Africa remain the highest in the world, but the rate of increase is expected to continue to decline amidst continued political and economic turmoil in the region.  
  • Asia Pacific – Due to relatively stable macroeconomic indicators, salaries for workers in Asia rose 5.8 percent in 2013, up from 5.5 percent in 2012. Increases are expected to remain strong in 2014. After adjusting for inflation, salary increases are higher in Asia Pacific than anywhere else in the world.  
  • Europe – Despite weak macroeconomic indicators in Europe, salaries are improving in the region. Workers in Europe saw pay increases of 3.7 percent in 2013, down slightly from 3.8 percent, and are expected to remain flat in 2014. When accounting for inflation, increases rose sharply.
  • Latin America – Workers in Latin America saw an increase of 5.9 percent in 2013, down slightly from 6.2 percent in 2012. Salary increases are expected to decline again in 2014. When adjusting for inflation, salaries were flat.
  • Middle East – In 2013, the Middle East shows a slight decline in the rate at which salaries increased (up by only 5.8 percent) from 2012, but they are expected to jump to 6 percent in 2014. Improvements in inflation have resulted in a rebound in net salary increases for employees in that region.
  • North America – Salary increases remained flat for workers in the U.S. and Canada at 2.9 percent in 2013. A modest increase of 3.0 percent is projected for 2014, which will be the highest level since 2008 when salary increases were 3.7 percent. When accounting for inflation, salary budgets are projected to increase from 1.1 percent in 2013, to 1.7 percent in 2014.

“Due to ongoing economic challenges in many regions around the world, companies are remaining conservative with their compensation budgets,” said Yanina Koliren, global compensation surveys and solutions leader at Aon Hewitt. “Salaries are increasing, but inflation plays a key factor in whether employees see an impact on their paychecks. This year, improved interest rates in multiple regions mean good news for many employees around the world.”

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