One in Three Employees Haven’t Received a Pay Raise in the Past 12 Months, New BambooHR Research Finds

In the midst of historic inflation, employee salaries are not keeping up

Lindon, Utah, September 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — BambooHRThe industry’s leading cloud-hosted software provider dedicated to the strategic evolution of human resources has released a new study of 1,000 American adults examining workers’ sentiment regarding compensation and benefits and found that the Money matters most: More than half (51%) of employees say they would stay at a company or job they dislike if the pay is high.

In June 2022inflation in United States got up for 9.1%, its highest level in more than four decades. However, rising prices do not necessarily mean rising wages. The survey found that one in three salaried workers (36%) said they had not received a pay rise in the past 12 months.

As employers scramble to hire and retain top talent, employees wonder if their compensation is what they’re really worth.

“No matter how satisfying a job is, the pay is important,” said Anita Grantham, HR manager at BambooHR. “Our research revealed what employees really think about compensation and what HR leaders can do differently when it comes to pay transparency and total compensation. Understanding these trends has never been more important as employers focus on improving employee engagement and retention.”

Wage deflation
When wages do not increase, dissatisfaction increases, especially among working women.

  • More than a third of employees say their pay is directly associated with their mental health, and this sentiment is significantly more prevalent among younger workers:
    • More than half of Millennials (54%) and 44% of Gen Zs say their pay is directly associated with their mental health, compared to 27% of Gen Xers and 19% of Boomers.
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of employees describe negative emotions about their financial compensation at work — 13% feel frustrated and 7% even feel resentment — but women are more likely than men to report be dissatisfied with their last salary increase (21% women vs 14% men).
  • More men report having had a pay rise in the past year than women (66% of men vs. 62% of women) and among those who have received a pay rise, men on average have received an increase of 6.39% compared to women at only 5.24%.

Pay transparency
More than a third (38%) of workers say they have annual pay reviews, but that doesn’t mean everyone is on the same page. More than a third of employees also say they knew nothing about the benefits of their current company before onboarding. So who is responsible for engaging the conversations and ensuring transparency?

  • Although half (47%) of salaried employees say that employees should always be the ones to initiate compensation discussions with their employer, almost a quarter (22%) do not feel comfortable bringing up proactive compensation.
  • Employers take the initiative by starting the conversation. For employees, the average revision takes place every 8 months and 16 days.
  • And employees anticipate them. 75% of workers prepare for compensation discussions with their employer. How are they preparing?
    • Searching for similar jobs online (32%)
    • Base desired compensation on work history (30%)
    • Asking others in their industry about their compensation (28%)
  • 60% of employees say that when looking for a job, they exclude employers who are not transparent about salaries.

The total compensation

Salary is important, but that’s not all. Benefits are so important to employees that many would take a pay cut for them and if they don’t get what they need they will quit.

  • 30% of employees quit their job just because of the benefits package.
  • Some employees would take a pay cut for certain benefits:
    • 41% would be willing to take a 7.8% pay cut for health insurance benefits
    • 38% would take a 7.6% pay cut for paid time off
    • 37% would accept a 7.6% pay cut for flexible work locations and/or hours
  • Work-life balance is also a priority. Salaried employees say flexible work hours and location are almost as important when considering a job offer as dental and vision benefits.

To learn more in the full Employee Sentiment report on benefits and compensation or tips for people managers, visit:

Survey methodology
BambooHR conducted this research using an online survey prepared by Method search and distributed by Cint among n=1,000 adults (aged 18+) in United States who are full-time employees. The sample was evenly split between genders, with a breakdown of age groups and geographical areas represented, and racial groups readable. The data was collected from June 21 to June 28, 2022.

About BambooHR
BambooHR is the leading global HR and payroll platform for growing businesses. We’re on a mission to empower the three million employees of over 30,000 organizations by providing intuitive HR tools, insights, and support to deliver an exceptional employee experience. The company was founded in 2008 by Ben Peterson and ryan sander, which created an award-winning, values-driven internal culture that later inspired the BambooHR product and features. BambooHR customers include Asana, Foursquare, Stance, and Postmates. To learn more, visit bamboohr.comfollow @bamboohr or join 30,000 other HR change agents at our Virtual HR Summit.


William M. Mayer