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January, 201910:30 AM

Big business flags wage increases: survey

Big business flags wage increases: survey

A new survey has found nearly two-thirds of Australia's big firms are flagging wage increases this year to help fill job vacancies.

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By AAP 16.04.2018 12:04 PM

Nearly two-thirds of Australia's big businesses are struggling to fill job vacancies and are flagging higher wages to lure new staff while preventing current workers from being poached.

The American Express global business and spending outlook - which surveyed 870 senior finance executives around the world from companies with an annual turnover of more than $A700 million - found 63 per cent of Australian respondents will need to raise wages this year.

This is well ahead of the global average of 37 per cent, and more than China, Japan, Hong Kong, the UK and US.

In addition to wage increases, other measures being considered are improved retirement benefits (57 per cent), allowing flexible work arrangements (50 per cent) and improving the physical working environment (40 per cent).

"While money is an important factor for any job seeker, it's not the be all and end all," American Express global commercial services vice president Barry Fletcher said as he released the results on Monday.

"The key is to look at the entire package you're offering and how it stacks up with others."

The survey found half of Australian firms identify five core functions which are proving difficult to fill: management, production and operations, administration and support, IT and HR.

The findings come at a time when annual wage growth in Australia is running at 2.1 per cent, only just ahead of the rate inflation. Workers had been enjoying pay increase of over four per cent prior to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

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