Businesses have warned of losing staff as wages are not keeping up with inflation


A new survey indicates that 2022 is becoming the year of the virtual pay cut as wages fail to keep pace with inflation.

File picture.
Photo: 123RF

Inflation hit a 32-year high of 7.3% last month, but wages rose 3% in the March quarter.

Frog Recruitment chief executive Shannon Barlow said some companies in sectors such as transport and logistics had offered whopping 30% pay rises.

But those sectors were more the exception than the rule, she said, with others offering modest incentives like gas coupons and grocery baskets.

“There are winners, especially some of the bigger companies,” she said.

“They say ‘it’s true, we need to secure talent now, so we’re going to put a lot into attracting and retaining staff’.”

Shannon Barlow, Managing Director of Frog Recruitment

Shannon Barlow, Managing Director of Frog Recruitment.
Photo: Provided/ Recruitment of frogs

She said salary increases are not keeping up with inflation in most cases.

“Wages don’t adjust for inflation and the result is that people regress in their budgeting; they take ‘virtual’ pay cuts,” she said.

“We are hearing more and more stories of people who cannot make ends meet and who go without essentials like food and petrol.

“While some received a pay rise this year, 72% said the extra money did not cover soaring gas and food prices.”

Barlow said their survey of nearly 1,000 workers this month showed 59% of people had received a pay rise.

She predicted that the cost to companies will increase if they fail to pay their talent market rates.

“It is inevitable that many will lose people to their competitors, in Australia or further afield.

“If employers can’t afford to keep up with market rates for wages, can they afford to stay in business against the competition that can?”

Barlow said with the unemployment rate officially the lowest on record, the recruiting agency was optimistic that a salary adjustment was imminent.

“We have employers jostling for workers and it’s obvious we’re in a candidate market right now. The net effect will hopefully be higher wages in line with inflation.

“Employees run our businesses. Paying fairly and accordingly is essential.”


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