Salaries for white-collar workers will fail to keep pace with inflation as pay rises become less generous in the resources sector.
Employment consultancy Robert Walters predicts average salaries across a series of professions will rise by 1.65 per cent in 2015, which is below the inflation rate of 2.2 per cent.
Economists are expecting inflation to moderate but wages will continue to rise at a slower pace.
The employment group’s Brisbane director Sinead Hourigan said a resources sector slowdown in Western Australia, in particular, would continue to weigh down the average salary increases of professionals.
“Unless we see a fairly sizeable increase and shift in what’s happening with the market conditions at the moment, it’s very likely that salaries for the most part will remain quite flat this year,” she said.
IT professionals in Perth can expect flat wages in 2015 but people with the same skills in Melbourne are forecast to enjoy a 4.3 per cent salary increase.
Banking sector accountants in Brisbane, however, are predicted to take home an extra 4.8 per cent this year.
“Banking is a relatively small industry sector up here in Brisbane so therefore it’s quite difficult to attract candidates in that space,” Ms Hourigan said.
The predictions follow a survey of mainly full-time professionals in resources engineering and construction, IT, industry accounting, finance sector accounting, human resources and safety, legal services, marketing and communication, and logistics.
Inflation figures due this week are expected to be among the lowest in three years, following a halving in the oil price during the past six months.
The consumer price index, the key measure of inflation, is forecast to have risen 0.2 per cent in the December quarter, for an annual rate of 1.8 per cent, a survey of 15 economists has found.