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Employers are again looking at modest salary increases for the next year despite an ongoing labor shortage in New Jersey and across the nation, according to the new compensation survey from Mercer. However, the results suggest employers are still motivated by the need for skilled workers when it comes to increasing compensation.

Mercer’s 2018/2019 U.S. Compensation Planning Survey predicts the average salary increase to be 2.9 percent of base salary next year after four consecutive years of 2.8 percent increases.

But more than three out of four respondents said that retaining employees was a top factor in their decision and just under three out of four said attracting good workers was a top factor.  Similarly, 80 percent of companies said a primary reason they budget for salary increases is to remain competitive in the market.

New Jersey workers fared pretty well in 2018 compared to those in other states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey was one of 11 states to average year-over-year earnings increased by 3.9 percent or more. New Jersey’s average hourly earnings went from $28.51 in February 2017 to $29.64 in February 2018, a 4 percent increase.