Most Des Moines workers will see 3 to 4 percent salary increases in 2014, according to an annual survey. That’s about the same as last year’s projected increases, although fewer companies said they plan no raises than did in 2013.
     
Those numbers indicate the Des Moines economy is stable and businesses are growing, said David Leto, executive vice president of Palmer Group. His company’s 2014 Salary Guide, released today,  projects growth in many positions in accounting and finance, and paints a steady picture of Central Iowa salaries. See the full guide at www.thepalmergroup.com.   

“Des Moines has been a great market,” Leto said. “Companies seem to be growing and thriving here, which is very exciting for everybody who lives and works in Central Iowa.”

Palmer Group’s salary guide is split into two separate pieces of data. The first, a survey of about 125 employers, shows that nearly 60 percent of employers expect a 3 to 4 percent increase in salaries at their company next year.

The second analyzes data from Palmer’s database of 25,000 individuals currently employed or seeking employment, combined with information gathered from more than 1,300 job openings in Central Iowa. The company uses that data to project salary ranges for specific job titles in 2014.

The job titles were split into nine categories: accounting and finance, banking and mortgage, engineering and manufacturing, human resources, information technology, insurance, office administration and customer service, and sales and marketing. 

Of the 186 job titles listed on the survey, 163 had the same median salary as last year, while 22 had larger median salaries. (One job title was new this year.) 

“You don’t see drastic differences year over year, so I think that’s a sign that things are stable,” Leto said. “You don’t see any huge decreases either, which, if that’s the case, then companies are tending to struggle.”

Leto said this year’s survey shows:
The rise in salaries is a sign that the labor pool is getting “shorter and tighter” here, but Leto is confident that a healthy business climate in Iowa will attract more workers from out of state. Business demand will ensure that.
“The (information technology) market has never been hotter,” Leto said. Leaders in the technology field have noted in the past that there is a lack of workers for available jobs. Highly skilled technical people are able to demand higher wages, Leto said.
The manufacturing sector also is seeing an overall salary increase for highly skilled positions. Although the median salaries are much the same as those given in last year’s guide, many of the high-end salaries increased. “I think we may see an even bigger increase in 2015 with another year of stability,” Leto said.
Salaries are up overall, but they haven’t gotten out of hand yet, he said. But companies that don’t keep up with salary demands will have a harder time attracting workers, which may be a shift since the recession when people needed to take any job they could. 

“Skilled talent no longer has to settle, and people often have more than one option when seeking a new job opportunity,” Leto said.