Pay rise expectations skyrocket with 58% of Australian workers expecting a salary increase this year

17 May, 2023

  • New People at Work report from ADP® Research Institute shows over half of Australians (58%) are unsatisfied with their current salary
  • Besides pay rise expectations, over half (58%) of Australian workers consider salary to be the most important factor in a job
  • Beyond pay rises, employers should look at alternative ways to offer higher value to employees, such as skill development and training opportunities.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, 17 MAY 2023, Pay rise expectations have skyrocketed according to a new survey of over 1,400 Australian workers. The ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View, found that in Australia, more than half (58%) of workers are anticipating a salary increase in the next 12 months - with an additional 26% expecting a promotion.

On average, almost half of Australian workers (49%) expect an uplift in pay of up to 6%, with over one in 10 (13%) expecting to receive a pay rise of 10% or more.

Alarmingly, almost half of Australian workers (49%) feel that they are underpaid in their current roles and over half (58%) are not satisfied with their salary.

The findings come amid the ongoing cost of living crisis and as workers in many countries demonstrate a willingness to take industrial action in order to force their employers to be more generous on pay and conditions.

The desire for a pay rise is strongest amongst millennials, with two-thirds (66%) of 25-34 year olds expecting a pay rise in the next 12 months. Amongst industries, IT/Telecommunications (70%), construction (67%), and manufacturing (66%) have the highest rates of expecting a pay rise.

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director ANZ at ADP, comments: “Employers have the difficult task of weighing up the expectation for higher pay against their own challenges around rising costs and tightening profit margins. Workers are confident that they will get a pay rise from their current company – but if not, there’s a strong sense that they’ll be able to secure one by moving jobs. The implications for talent acquisition and retention are substantial.”

“Employers who aren’t in a financial position to offer decent pay rises need to carefully consider the risks and start thinking creatively about how to retain staff in other ways, such as offering workers more value from their jobs through skill development and training, as well as increased flexibility.”

Mrs Baullo says, "With workers and working families experiencing the highest increases in cost of living registered over the past two decades, it’s no surprise employees are expecting their pay to keep up with the ongoing crisis.”

“Workers across lower and middle-income bands have found that their disposable incomes have been severely hit. Spending on essentials, let alone luxuries, is being tightly squeezed as they grapple with rising rents, increasing interest rates and escalating food and energy bills. Even if inflation has peaked, it looks like it will take some time to return to more comfortable levels.”

Demands for higher pay come after just over six in 10 Australian workers (65%) were given a pay rise last year. Those pay rises averaged 5%. Given that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) global inflation forecast for 2022 was 8.8%,[1] even the increase in pay equates to a pay cut in real-terms for the majority of Australians.

The report explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future.


For more insights, please read the ‘People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View’ report.

About the research

People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future.

ADP Research Institute® surveyed 32,612 workers in 17 countries around the world between 28 October and 18 November 2022 including over 8,613 working exclusively in the gig economy. This included:

  • 7,721 in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India and Singapore)
  • 15,290 in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK)
  • 5,751 in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile)
  • 3,850 in North America (USA and Canada).

Within the worker sample gig workers and traditional workers were identified. Gig workers were identified as those who work on a contingent, temporary, or seasonal basis, or as a freelancer, independent contractor, consultant, gig worker, or use an online platform to source work. Traditional employees were identified as those who are not working in the gig economy and instead have a permanent full or part-time position.

The survey was conducted online in the local language. Overall results are weighted to represent the size of the working population for each country. Weightings are based on labour force data from the World Bank, [2] which is derived using data from the ILOSTAT database, the central statistics database of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as of February 8, 2022.


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[1] Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Report, October 2022

[2] Source: The World Bank, Labor force, total, World Development Indicators database, February 8 2022