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Salary increases 'firmly back on the agenda' in 2016

Salaries are expected to increase by more than 2% next year, according to an economic survey.

Although most workers are likely to get a 2.2% wage boost, those in the service industry are set to fare best with a 2.8% hike in salaries, consultancy firm Mercer said.

Employees in the life sciences sector and high-tech industry are expected to receive rises of 2.4% and 2.5% respectively, Mercer's Salary Movement Report found.

Noel O'Connor, talent consultant with Mercer, said the findings reflected an improved performance in the local economy.

He said: "The outlook is that salary increases are firmly back on the agenda for the vast majority of organisations."

Other key sectors including energy, consumer goods and manufacturing are also expected to provide wage increases of 2% next year.

Mr O'Connor added: "Ireland's unemployment rate is at its lowest level for seven years and this is very much reflected.

"After a number of years of consolidation in the jobs market, we are beginning to see more activity as employees are increasingly tempted by new opportunities.

"The competition for talent seems to be particularly aggressive in the high-tech, life science and construction industries.

"Whilst basic salary is an important component in staff retention and recruitment, other elements including pension benefits, opportunities for flexible working and a good work/life balance can be equally as important."

Mercer surveyed 135 firms for its Salary Movement Report.

Some 97% said they were planning salary increases in 2016.

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