SALARY AND BENEFITS
Women, while earning considerably lower salaries than men, appear to be closing the wage gap somewhat. Females report an average base salary of $73,000—a 9% increase over last year's figure of $67,000. Men appear to have lost some ground since last year's survey, reporting base salaries of $89,000 (down from $90,000). As for total compensation, women expect salary/bonuses for 2017 to be 2.7% greater this year, while men expect total compensation gains of 2.3%.
While women are realizing overall gains in compensation, they nonetheless report less satisfaction with their salaries than do men. Sixty percent of surveyed men say they feel that they are adequately compensated for the work they do compared with only 38% of women. As for how much more those dissatisfied with their compensation would require for them to consider themselves adequately remunerated, both men and women report the same average figure—just over 16%.
The prevailing opinion as to the economic outlook for the coming year is that it is improving. Two-thirds of respondents hold either a "very positive" or "somewhat positive" view of business conditions heading into 2018. This contrasts to last year's survey, in which less than half of respondents forecasted a positive business environment for the year ahead.
"I believe that the federal government is taking steps in the right direction to free us of overbearing regulation," one commenter offered. And while a number of respondents echoed that sentiment, others voiced uncertainty about actions the administration might take that could impact U.S. manufacturing.
"Strained relations with Mexico may cause supply interruptions, and the possibility of a new tariff is a threat to component costs," said one.