Expat Wages to Rise in 2014


Money might be the root of all evil, but it can certainly make life more comfortable and agreeable, so commanding a decent wage is one of the main attractions of most employments.

Since 2007 and the onset of the global economic crisis, the rate of wage increases has fallen in many nations, unemployment has climbed and the competition for expat career opportunities has increased significantly.

But during the second half of 2013 improvements started to be seen in several popular expat locations. Specifically, the UK enjoyed stronger-than-expected growth, the US employment sector began to improve, the Eurozone edged out of recession and Germany consolidated its position as a European super power.

Countries like Australia and Canada might still be struggling by comparison, but according to a recent report expats based around the world will finally start seeing notable wage increases this year.

Even though many companies are still adopting a cautious outlook and refraining from wage hikes until the economic recovery is more assured and investment returns to pre-crisis levels, expats will have greater spending power thanks to lower global inflation.

The Mercer survey, which studied businesses spread over 100 countries, stated that expats will see their pay rise by as much as 7.4 per cent in some areas.

Wage increases will be most significant in North America and Australasia, though employees in the Middle East could also see their salary jump by 7.1 per cent over the next twelve months.

Central/Eastern Europe is set to pay its employees 5.8 per cent more.

Expats living in Western Europe are likely to see the smallest improvement in their spending power, with wages forecast to rise by just 2.6 per cent.

A Mercer researcher said of the results; ‘employees will benefit from improving economic growth and inflation. The question is whether employees will recognise inflation’s diminishing bite out of pay increases or simply see pay increases on face value as smaller. This is an opportunity for employers to educate employees on pay and performance, as well as on pay increases relative to inflation.’

The report also asserted that the global economy will expand by more in 2014 than it did in 2013, with GDP rising from 3.3 per cent to 3.8 per cent.

Western Europe is expected to enjoy the most substantial improvement in growth, with GDP 1.6 per cent higher.

In the opinion of Mercer experts, the global economic outlook will improve in 2014 as inflation decreases.

If these estimates prove accurate, expats based around the world could end this year in a better financial position then they started.

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