Employee Compensation Trends For 2021

Employee Compensation Trends For 2021
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted employee compensation across the globe with many employees reporting that salary has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

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Employee Compensation Trends From The US, Canada And The UK

Elements Global Services surveyed 2,200 current employees from the US, Canada and the UK to explore pandemic-related trends in job compensation, feelings on executive pay and what percent pay raise would compel employees to leave their current jobs.

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The first part of the survey asked employees had the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their salary over the past year. They found that 65% of Americans reported having their income go down or stay the same in the last year as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked why your income decreased in 2020, they were the top responses:

  1. I took a pay cut (39%)
  2. I lost my job (29%)
  3. My income is variable (24%)
  4. I took a new job with lower pay (8%)

The survey also found that 55% of Americans who had their income cut due to the pandemic, reported having it not returned to pre-pandemic levels of overall employee compensation. On top of that, 42% of Americans report that their employer froze raises and bonuses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite this relatively somber news on compensation, many employees expect pay to resume in 2021. Over 50% of respondents said that they expect to earn a higher level of compensation in 2021 than they did in 2020. 30% said their salary is likely to stay the same in 2021 and 20% said they expect to make less than they did before the pandemic.

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One of the more interesting takeaways from the survey revolved around the controversial topic of Bitcoin. 37% of American workers said that they would be open to accepting a portion of their overall compensation in Bitcoin if it were offered. That number jumps even higher for both UK and Canadian workers.

The survey also asked American workers how they would use unexpected income if they happened to be offered more money or a bonus this year from their employer. 48% of respondents said that would put that money into savings. 25% said they would use the money to pay off debt. 16% would use the money to purchase something they want and 11% said they would use the money to buy something that they need.

Negotiating salary is was also something that was asked about in the survey from Elements Global Services. When it comes to negotiating salary: 51% of respondents have talked about salary with their employer 1-2 times in the past two years. 29% said they have had zero communication about salary in the previous 24 months. 20% have talked about it 3+ times in the same time period.

The last part of the survey asked respondents about what amount of money it would take for them to leave their current job. When asked what minimum raise would compel you to leave your job: 20-25% raise (35% of respondents), 10-15% raise (34% of respondents), 50+% raise (16% of respondents), 5% raise (15% of respondents).

The full report from Elements Global Services can be seen in the graphic below.

Employee Compensation Trends

Employee Compensation Trends

Employee Compensation Trends

Employee Compensation Trends



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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)www.valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver
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