It’s a time that seems very distant. Between 1996 and 2018, salaries only increased by 0.6% on average per year, according to INSEE. The levels are now exceptional: according to a survey published this Thursday, September 14 by the recruitment firm PageGroup, and revealed by The Parisian, salary increases are expected at 4.5% on average in 2023.
To achieve this result in its annual survey, the recruitment firm, which has some 750 consultants in France, scrutinized the salaries practiced in more than 850 professions spread across 25 sectors of activity.
In 2022, private sector employees saw their remuneration increase by 3.9%, according to the Ministry of Labor. A study by the human resources firm LHH published at the end of last August indicated that half of salaries in France will experience an increase of more than 4.7% in 2023 and that 93% of companies “have planned salary measures” this year. Salary increases should therefore almost compensate for inflation in 2023 in France.
Negotiating power, however, remains very unequal depending on the employees. PageGroup notes that 40% of them “feel like they have not had their salary increased over the last two years”. And according to a survey carried out by the firm Robert Half, notes AFP, “45% of women and 48% of 45-65 year olds say they have not received any increase over the last twelve months”, compared to only 35% of men. in general and 30% of 18-34 year olds.
A labor market that remains tense
The salary increases compensate for an increase in consumer prices expected at 5% on average for the whole of 2023, after 5.2% in 2022, according to INSEE. A particularly significant increase in the prices of food products (+11% year-on-year in August).
“Before, we had energy inflation, now we have supermarket inflation,” Benoît Serre told AFP. The vice-president of the National Association of Human Resources Directors (ANDRH) points to “a little more excitement among managers because inflation continues”.
And as prices had increased significantly faster than wages in 2022, “over two years, we have not caught up with the level of inflation for the average population,” Laurent Blanchard, general manager of PageGroup, told AFP. France.
With from the ParisianLaurent Blanchard explains why the dynamic on wages is not weakening: “The first reason is inflation which has taken hold over time […] The second is that the job market remains tense with 350,000 positions to be filled, and 60% of business leaders say that it is still very difficult to recruit.”
“The job market remains dynamic, and employees know it,” summarizes Laurent Blanchard. He reminds us that talents, highly sought after by recruiters, no longer hesitate to look elsewhere. “If companies don’t give a raise, at some point they will have to recruit from outside, and it’s often more expensive, because there is a premium for change.”
Salaries still increasing in 2024?
Faced with inflation, pay increases on the pay slip have more often than in the past taken the form of general increases and “additional salary measures” have been taken by 60% of companies, notes the study by the human resources firm LHH. Among them, the value sharing bonus was paid by 45% of companies for a median declared amount of 775 euros, specifies this firm.
According to the annual PageGroup study, salaries are still expected to increase by between 3.5% and 4% in 2024. “For 2024 and beyond, there are several factors that will come into play. But there are two indisputable elements: the shortage of qualified profiles and a very significant wave of retirements in the years to come”, indicates at the Parisian Laurent Blanchard.
Certain jobs offer good prospects for 2024, notes the recruitment firm’s study. These include IT, new technologies and digital professions. Particularly sought after, a cloud engineer can thus hope for a salary gain of 7 to 13% by changing companies between now and next year. This is also the case for QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety, Environment) managers, who can expect a salary increase of 9 to 11% in the event of a change of company in 2024.
As annual negotiations begin in companies on salary increases for 2024, the economic slowdown could however limit future increases. “Who says ‘marked slowdown’ says ‘destruction of jobs and increase in unemployment'”, in which case the balance of power would change “to the disadvantage of employees”, notes to AFP Eric Heyer, director of the analyzes and forecasts department of the ‘OFCE.
The euphoria on remuneration may therefore not last. “In view of the economic situation forecasts, I would not be surprised if there was more wage moderation at the start of next year,” predicts Laurent Blanchard with from the Parisian. This is why you might not have to wait long before asking for a raise.