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Nonprofit projects pay increase for Utah workers in 2021

A new report suggests Utahns will most likely receive pay raises next year. Utah’s Employer Council is projecting close to a 2.5% pay hike for Utah employees in 2021. (PHOTO: File)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A new report suggests Utah workers will most likely receive pay raises next year.

How much of a hike for Utah workers?

Utah’s Employer Council is projecting close to a 2.5% pay hike for Utah employees in 2021. On top of that, it could be more than a 4.5% bump for what they consider to be “elite” performers.

Utah’s overall average wages are expected to rise by 2.3% this year, which is down 0.8% from their 3.1% projection. The original projection comes from the Employers Council’s earlier survey that included data collected prior to the coronavirus outbreak in March.

“The survey projects Utah’s salaries will continue to increase and employees will continue to experience an upswing in overall compensation during the continued volatile economy, In the past year, average employee pay increased by 3.3% and it’s estimated to grow another 2.3% in 2021,” said Ryan Nelson, president of Employers Council’s Utah office.

“This survey is an incredibly extensive estimate of where the entire state is headed in terms of compensation, and we are pleased to provide such relevant and helpful information to employers.”

Taking a look at Utah’s neighbors

Their most recent survey also calculated projected pay increases in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. 

In comparison to the other states surveyed, Utah’s average wage hike for the typical employee was similar with the neighboring states. However, Utah’s projected pay increase for top producers was down almost half a percent since last year.

Meanwhile, all the other participating states’ projected pay for its best performers increased.

Officials say it’s important to keep in mind that a potential pay increase for Utah employees will depend on the employer and the industry in which they employ workers.

“I have heard and also experienced firsthand a variety of responses from employers to the situation. Some are reductions in force, salary freezes, where everything is on hold to the other end of the spectrum where employers are doing quite well and are experiencing exceptional revenue growth and unprecedented year over increases in revenue or sales or business,” Nelson explained.

“It depends on the employer. Not every employer was well positioned for the pandemic and some adjusted and maneuvered quicker, or were able to adapt and continue the revenue streams that they had or had new ones. Others not so much.”