When you get a new job, ideally you get new wages.

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And ideally, they are higher than at your previous gig.

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But that only appears to be the case in about half of newhires.

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A new survey by staffing firm Robert Half finds that 54 percent ofchief financial officers in the largest 20 U.S. metropolitan areassaid that they offered new hires higher pay than the applicantreceived in prior employment.

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A large portion of the 2,200 CFOs polled––36 percent––said theytypically offer new hires the same money they were making at theirold job.

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Read: Payrolls surge

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Another 5 percent said they offer the job candidate a salarydecrease. Hopefully those companies have generousbenefits.

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Among CFOs who offer salary increases, the average pay hike is10 percent.

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The good news is that two-thirds of CFOs said that the salariesthey are offering workers are at least somewhat higher than theywere two years ago.

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Read: Will 4.5 days be the new workweek?

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From the perspective of the average worker in search of betterpay, the survey results probably don’t appear to suggest there areboundless opportunities to get rich.

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But Robert Half framed the survey results as evidence of anincreasingly competitive climate for employers.

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"Employers who want to improve their odds of securing skilledtalent are offering highly attractive starting salaries right now,"said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half."Companies are competing not just with other businesses that arehiring but also with the applicant's current employer, who may makea counteroffer to retain the services of a valued employee."

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Read: Over half of workers won't be able to coverretirement expenses

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"Professional job seekers with in-demand skills are receivingmultiple job offers," McDonald added. "Employers need to put theirbest bid on the table--and do so quickly--or they risk losing goodtalent."

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