Workers in Utah can look forward to a pay increase next year, especially if they are among their company’s top performers, based on a new survey.

Employers Council, a leader in human resource and employment law services for the business community, surveyed companies about their compensation budgets for 2021. It revealed that those budgets average to a 2.3 percent increase for the average or typical employee, and 4.6 percent for the top performers.

The 2020 Planning Packet survey used data collected from July and August. Overall, Utah’s average pay is projected to increase by 2.3 percent in 2020, down 0.8 percent from the 3.1 percent pay increase projection documented this year in Employers Council’s 2020 Benchmark Compensation Survey that included data collected from January through March.

“Overall, the survey projects Utah’s salaries will continue to increase and employees will continue to experience an upswing in overall compensation during the continued volatile economy,” said Ryan D. Nelson, president of Employers Council’s Utah office.

“In the past year, average employee pay increased by 3.3 percent and it’s estimated to grow another 2.3 percent in 2021. This survey is an incredibly extensive estimate of where the entire state is headed in terms of compensation, and we are pleased to provide such relevant and helpful information to employers.”

Employers Council surveys in some nearby states indicate that Arizona’s average for the typical employee matches Utah’s expected 2.3 percent increase, and both outpaced Colorado’s 2 percent and Wyoming’s 1.2 percent.

For top performers, Utah’s average pay increased trailed those three states. Wyoming is projecting a 5.5 percent rise, Colorado is projecting a 5.2 percent increase and Arizona’s average is 4.7 percent.

Utah’s projected pay increase for top performers was down nearly a half a percent since 2019, while all other participating states’ projected top performer pay increased.

The complete survey separated pay increases geographically among those four states as well as within Utah, including Wasatch North, Wasatch South, Mountainland and Central-Southern.  The full survey also includes Business Trends and Staffing/Hiring Levels sections with information related to 2021 business outlook, the greatest challenges to achieving business growth, the most challenging job groups to recruit and/or retain, strategies to overcome recruitment and retention challenges.

The full version of the survey is available exclusively to Employers Council members. Details about becoming a member or purchasing the surveys are at or (801) 364-8479.

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