IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Starting salaries for white-collar workers expected to get a boost

If you’re lucky enough to land a white-collar job next year, you also may get a slightly better salary offer than folks who were hired this year.Starting salaries for white-collar workers are expected to rise by 3.4 percent on average in 2012, according to staffing firm Robert Half International.That's a bigger boost than in the past couple years, according to Robert Half. The company estimates

If you’re lucky enough to land a white-collar job next year, you also may get a slightly better salary offer than folks who were hired this year.

Starting salaries for white-collar workers are expected to rise by 3.4 percent on average in 2012, according to staffing firm Robert Half International.

That's a bigger boost than in the past couple years, according to Robert Half. The company estimates that salaries for white collar workers rose 2.8 percent in 2011 and actually declined by 0.4 percent in 2010. (The 2010 figure excluded advertising and marketing positions.)

In 2009, salaries also rose by 3.4 percent.

The company’s estimates for annual starting salary boosts are based on the thousands of job negotiations it handles each year, combined with other research. The company only looks at starting salaries for its salary guide because other factors such as seniority and job performance can affect pay down the line.

If you’re in the technology field, the staffing firm says high demand will likely translate into starting salary offers in 2012 that are about 4.5 percent above what was offered this year. Robert Half said more than half of chief information officers it surveyed have found it challenging to find skilled technology professionals.

On the other hand, legal professionals may not be quite as lucky. Starting salaries in that field are only expected to be boosted by 1.9 percent. The legal profession was among those hard-hit during the recession and weak recovery.

Of course, many potential employees may not feel like they have a lot of leverage when it comes to negotiating salaries, because competition for jobs is so fierce. The overall unemployment rate is still hovering around 9 percent, with about 14 million people actively looking for work.

For college graduates, the unemployment rate is much lower, at around 4.2 percent. Still, that’s double what it was before the recession began in December of 2007.

Related:

Unemployment crisis hits white-collar workers hard as well

How to psych out your employer in salary negotiations