A survey of plastics industry executives and professionals finds that their compensation barely changed last year. But the same group is optimistic and more than 70 percent expect a raise this year.
The findings were part of the annual online Plastics Salary and Trends Survey conducted by the Society of Plastics Engineers and Gros Executive Recruiters. The survey was conducted during April and May, and generated 1,414 responses.
“I'm not predicting a major boom, but something measured and consistent for the employer and the employee,” said Dennis Gros, president of the Franklin, Tenn.-based recruiting firm.
Gros said the results show an upbeat mood about job stability. Three years ago, only 50 percent of the respondents were “very confident” that their current job would exist in the next 12 months. In 2012, 73.2 percent affirmed their belief in their jobs.
Total compensation was “stagnant and spiritless,” Gros said in a telephone interview. The average rose only about 1.1 percent, a non-significant increase. The average compensation for survey respondents is $112,380 in 2012, compared with $111,124 in 2011.
“As I look at the plastics industry now, I see different growth opportunities over the next several years. It shows in the polling, with an improvement in the perception of job stability and anticipation of higher compensation,” said SPE CEO Willem De Vos, in a statement.
“In the United States, the plastics industry is on the verge of a robust turnaround with new applications for plastics and de-localized jobs coming back,” De Vos said.
Gros said many people are expecting raises in 2012. Among professionals, 75 percent expect raises, mostly in the 1-6 percent area. Among managers, 65 percent expect that their employees will get a 1-3 percent boost in base salary.
Some expected more, with 81 percent in all expecting some sort of raise.
Gros said the employment market is also showing an uptick. He noted that during the downturn, many companies had concentrated on adding sales staff, but were hurt as they failed to add business.
“They had to wait to see if business was coming back. Now … they more confident,” he added.
A more detailed account is available to SPE members through the Newtown, Conn.-based professional organization's website.