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In 2015 workers in the United States may see as much as a 3% increase in the median salary. While this is a slight increase for employees who have yet to see wages return to pre-recession levels it is really a minor growth in the overall economy and does not represent any significant changes. However, as spending increases so should salaries in many industries. Let’s take a closer look.

Adjusted for Inflation.

While 3% may seem like an increase in wages overall the unfortunate reality is that after being adjusted for inflation wages are still flat. The annualized consumer price increase is expected to remain at 2.1% which will mean that salaries will only see a .9% increase this year. Many companies reduced salaries during the recession but the cost of living did not see any decrease. This means many employees are still struggling to maintain even a low-cost lifestyle in relation to current wages. Even without the recession many industries had not raised their wages for many years.

Variations for Industries.

Experts believe that this 3% increase will affect most industries throughout the United States. However, there are two industries to watch in regards to their differences. The oil and gas industry is expected to reach a 4% increase in 2015. Hospital employees can expect only a 2% increase next year. This lower increase is surprising considering the big changes in the medical industry with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act. No major differences are expected across major metropolitan areas in the US.

Non-Financial Rewards.

Employers in 2015 are expected to tie non-financial rewards and benefits into employee performance. They will be making changes to their variable pay programs as well as improving non-financial benefits such as career development. In other words, these programs will allow employers to pay for performance but only if the performance goals are met by their employees.

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