Half of Employees Expect a 3 to 5 Percent Pay Raise

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (January 9, 2014)With more job growth expected in 2015, more than one in three (35 percent) employees1 report they will look for a new job if they do not receive a pay raise in the next 12 months, according to the Glassdoor U.S. Employment Confidence Survey.2 This comes as employee optimism in the job market reaches a new high in six years, with nearly half (48 percent) of employees (including those self-employed) reporting confidence they can find a job matching their current experience and compensation levels in the next six months. In addition, this quarter’s survey, conducted online by Harris Poll, reveals employee expectations around pay raises and job search activity this year as well as sentiment around pay inequalities.

With employee confidence in the job market at a new high, more than two in five (43 percent) employees report expectations of a pay raise in the next 12 months. If employees do not receive that pay raise, more than one in three (35 percent) report they will look for a new job.

Employees expecting raises have also made it clear when it comes to how much more they expect to get paid in 2015, as half (49 percent) of those who expect to get a raise in the next 12 months say they expect it to be between 3 and 5 percent. This varies slightly by gender, with more men (52 percent) than women (45 percent) expecting a 3 to 5 percent pay raise. Some employees are expecting a much bigger pay raise, as 4 percent report expectations of a pay raise between 50 and 100 percent.

However, it appears there may be work to do in 2015 by employers and employees to fix any pay inequality gaps between men and women within companies. At the start of the new year, most employees (62 percent) report they do not believe men and women are paid equally. In fact, a stronger majority of women (75 percent) do not believe men and women are paid equally, compared to half (50 percent) of men.

“The job market is making a strong recovery and with that comes the reckoning of pay inequities and an increased awareness of salary transparency. Employees are making it known that they expect to get paid more in 2015. In fact, if they don’t, they will jump ship and find a new opportunity. Therefore, it’s time for employers to dust off the playbook from the economic growth years and pay attention to compensation practices that retain talent,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert. “It’s also time for employers to recognize and address the fact that most employees still do not believe men and women are paid equally. Overall, it is a time of reckoning; one in which employers should use the start of the new year as an opportunity to reevaluate internal pay structure, fix pay inequalities that exist, and be transparent with employees about how compensation and pay raises are determined. Employers that do this well will reap positive recruiting and retention rewards, and those that don’t will put themselves at higher talent retention risks.”

In addition, the Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey monitors four key indicators of employee confidence each quarter for the past six years: job market optimism/re-hire probability, job security sentiment, salary expectations and business outlook optimism.

  • Job Market Optimism/Re-hire Probability: During Q4 2014, confidence in the job market reached a new high in six years, with half (48 percent) of employees (including those self-employed) reporting confidence in their ability to find a job matched to their current experience and compensation levels in the next six months. This is up 1 percentage point from last quarter. Of those unemployed but looking, job market confidence increased 10 percentage points to 43 percent since last quarter (33 percent), also a six-year high.
  • Job Security: Thirteen percent of employees report concern about being laid off in the next six months, down 2 percentage points since last quarter (15 percent) and a new six-year low. Nearly one in four (23 percent) employees report concern about co-workers being laid off, up 1 percentage point since last quarter.
  • Salary Expectations: Employee optimism for a pay raise remains high and steady since last quarter, with 43 percent of employees expecting a pay raise or cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months. This is up 1 percentage point from last year (Q4 2013), and up 4 percentage points from two years ago (Q4 2012). Thirty-seven percent do not expect a pay raise and 19 percent don’t know.
  • Business Outlook Optimism: More employees (including those self-employed) expect their company’s business outlook to improve in the next six months (43 percent), up 4 percentage points since last quarter. Half (49 percent) believe their company’s business outlook will remain the same, while 8 percent believe it will get worse. Men are more optimistic (48 percent) than women (39 percent) that business will improve in the next six months.

SURVEY SUPPLEMENT & GRAPHICS AVAILABLE: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­For more details, including breakdowns of survey results by age, income, geography and gender, as well as quarter-by-quarter survey results, please see the full U.S. Q4 2014 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey Supplement: To request the survey supplement, graphics and/or complete survey methodology, please contact pr [at] Glassdoor [dot] com.

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1 For the purposes of this study, “employees” were defined as U.S. adults 18+ employed full time and/or part time unless otherwise indicated.

2 The Q4 2014 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor from December 12-16, 2014 among 2,030 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 871 are employed full time/part time. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

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