The CFOs of ASX-listed companies have received a pay bump of 28.3 per cent on average over the past year — significantly higher than the current rate of inflation.
Investment consultants in the asset management industry have also kept well ahead of rising prices, receiving an average annual salary increase of 19.0 per cent.
These findings come from the latest Robert Walters Salary Survey, which compared pay increases across a variety of occupations with the latest consumer price index (CPI).
With inflation lifting to 7.3 per cent in the September quarter, the firm noted that workers who have received a pay rise below that level have suffered a “real-term pay cut”.
Along with CFOs and investment consultants, Robert Walters found that the roles of marketing director (33.3 per cent), supply chain officer (14.7 per cent) and data architect (10.3 per cent) continued to command pay rises in excess of inflation.
However, senior business/finance analysts (5.6 per cent) and tax/internal audit managers (3.1 per cent) were among the occupations where salary increases are lagging behind the CPI.
“Much has been made of the ongoing skills shortage in Australia, and the power it has given candidates seeking to secure bigger salaries and additional benefits,” said Robert Walters Australia & New Zealand managing director Shay Peters.
“These inflationary pressures may now shift that dynamic, with the previous ‘at all costs’ approach from companies desperate for new recruits now offset by spiralling operating costs and energy bills.”
Mr Peters added that, as the Reserve Bank continues its efforts to drive down inflation, the days of surging salary offers may be in the past, at least over the short term.
Overall, Robert Walters’ survey found that 78 per cent of white-collar workers expect to start looking for a new job if they do not get a pay rise above inflation over the next 12 months.
But the firm warned that a stand-off may be looming, as 56 per cent of employers have indicated that they are not expecting to offer salary increases in the coming year.
“Our survey shows there’s a fundamental disconnect between candidates and employers, and that will undoubtedly cause increasing friction,” said Mr Peters.
“Open and honest conversations are more important than ever, especially with the warning from the RBA that ever-increasing wage offers could drive inflation beyond current predictions.”
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.