Salary Increase Budgets Reach 20-Year High in WorldatWork’s 2023-2024 Survey

Longest-Running Survey of its Kind Reports Unexpected Boost – 
Highest in Two Decades

September 06, 2023

Scottsdale, Arizona — With inflation moderating and many economists predicting a soft landing for the economy, WorldatWork, the Total Rewards Association, and provider of comprehensive compensation data and insights, announces the results of its “2023-24 Salary Budget Survey.”

The survey, covering nearly 17 million employees from 18 countries, revealed a surge in salary increase budgets to their highest point in two decades and a surprising deviation from last year's projections. U.S. respondents reported an unexpected boost in 2023 average salary increase budgets, which grew by 0.3% to reach 4.4%, but also foresee a return to a 4.1% average increase budget for 2024.

The survey also found that layoffs are predicted to cool significantly around the globe with 91% reporting anticipating no layoffs in 2024.

Now in its 50th year, WorldatWork’s Salary Budget Survey is the longest-running survey of its kind serving as an essential resource for total rewards and human resources professionals and their C-suite partners. With year-over-year data, decision-makers can devise competitive compensation strategies and comprehensive rewards systems to help attract and retain high-caliber employees.

An easy-to-use Online Reporting Tool facilitates tailored reporting based on industry, organization size and geographic region (within the U.S. and Canada), helping compensation, total rewards and HR professionals prepare informed salary budget projections for organizations.

“Organizations of all kinds, from government entities to global multi-nationals to modest enterprises, rely on this annual survey to benchmark and plan salary increase budgets to maintain the workforces they need,” said Sue Holloway, Director, WorldatWork. “The rapid rise in salary increase budgets over the past couple of years, combined with today’s volatile economic environment, challenge HR pros to leverage data and think strategically as they formulate 2024 compensation budget recommendations and negotiate with CFOs.”

Data Highlights:   

  • Layoff likelihood predicted lower in 2024: Averaged across all eighteen countries, about 70% of participants reported no layoffs for 2023, with 91% anticipating the same for 2024.
  • Timing of pay increases. The average time between increases is at or slightly lower than the historical average of 12 months in all countries.
  • Pay for performance. U.S. employers reported that high-performing employees (26% of their workforce) received merit increases 1.4% higher than those for middle performers and 3.9% higher than low performers.
  • United Kingdom salary increase budget growth. In 2023, the United Kingdom's average total salary increase budget exceeded projections, reaching 4.5% (4.0% median) compared to the projected 3.9%.
  • India's strength: India again shows the largest salary increase budget in the survey, averaging 9.8%. This figure, slightly lower than 2022's 10.1%, draws closer to the pre-pandemic level of 9.9%.
  • Consistent growth in Mexico: Mexico has witnessed steady expansion of its salary increase budgets, progressing from 4.7% in 2021, 5.7% in 2022, to 6.3% in 2023.  

Note: Journalists may request a complimentary copy of the study report by contacting Judy Kalvin,


WorldatWork collected survey data for the “2023-2024 Salary Budget Survey” from May 3 to June 16, 2023. The survey was completed by 2,146 organizations, many of which reported data for multiple countries, resulting in 6,570 unique survey responses. Members were asked to respond for the U.S. and 17 other countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  


About WorldatWork:   

WorldatWork is the leading global nonprofit association for professionals engaged in the critically important practice of Total Rewards. We serve those who are responsible for cultivating inspired, engaged, productive and committed workers in effective and rewarding workplaces. We guide them in the design and delivery of Total Rewards programs with our membership, education, certification, idea exchange, thought leadership, knowledge creation, information sharing, research, and networking. For more than 65 years, WorldatWork has served Total Rewards professionals throughout the world working in organizations of all sizes and structures. Professionals from more than 93% of Fortune 500® organizations rely on WorldatWork for Total Rewards solutions.

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