Brisbane could be the place to be for finance professionals seeking wage growth this year, according to the findings of an annual salary survey from specialist finance and banking recruiter, Robert Half.
Average wages in finance and accounting roles in Brisbane are set to grow 3.5 per cent this year, compared to the 2.1 per cent national average, according to the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide.
Melbourne will be the second best place to be for finance professionals seeking wage growth this year, with the average sector wages growing 2.5 per cent during the year, according to the survey.
The recruiter finds that salaries in Sydney and Perth are still growing but at a slower pace — finance roles in Sydney are set for an average increase of 1.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent for Perth.
The annual Robert Half Salary Guide is based on data from local job placements, draws on local expertise and independent research of executives and office workers as well as aggregated job data with job analytics firm, Broadbean.
“Company confidence is returning in Brisbane after the downturn of the resources boom and businesses are expanding, which is creating renewed demand for skilled finance professionals and placing positive pressure on salaries,” David Jones, Robert Half Asia Pacific senior managing director.
“Melbourne is also growing steadily alongside Sydney, however salary growth rates are higher in Melbourne following years of sustained growth in the Sydney market,” Jones says.
“There is significant positive sentiment coming from the Perth market, while not resulting in the same salary increases as the east coast, it’s clear to see there’s light at the end of the tunnel after the mining downturn,” Jones describes.
The finance sector is a relatively bright spark in terms of wage growth, at a time when Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show wage growth more broadly across sectors nationally is at an all-time low, Jones points out. The recruiter recently told InFinance
there has been encouraging signs for employment growth in the finance segment in recent months.
Within the finance segment the recruiter singles out risk compliance and mortgage lending as areas where the most latent demand
for professionals exists.
However, with wage growth still at a historical low point — across segments and across geographies — professionals wanting to grow their salaries in this environment will need to show they are able to add significant value to the company, Jones comments.
The growing influence of technology means finance professionals with IT skills will be highly sought after, particularly those highly skilled in ERP systems and accounting and reporting software, Jones highlights.
“Those who are able to create greater efficiencies in the finance function and streamline their company’s processes will be in a strong position to negotiate a higher salary,” Jones says.