GALA's Member Pulse Survey, First Quarter 2009
By: Rebecca Petras (GALA)
16 March 2009
More than 40 percent of GALA’s members participated in the survey, and results revealed interesting trends.
The survey found North American language services and technology professionals earn more than their counterparts in Europe, Middle East/Africa, South America and Asia (USD comparison). However, workers in Europe receive the best benefits.
To compare wages, respondents were asked to give salary ranges for a number of positions typical in the language services and technology industry. All answers were provided in US Dollars to remain consistent. In general, the salary ranges of positions in North America were 10,000 to 20,000 USD higher than similar positions in other markets. For example, 75 percent of European project manager salaries were less than 40,000 USD, whereas 100 percent of the same positions in North America werehigher than 40,000 USD. There were similar differences with software engineers, software developers and marketing managers.
However, European employees appear to have the best benefits worldwide, especially in the area of paid time off. More than half (55%) of employees in the European region receive three to four weeks of paid time off, and 32 percent receive five to six weeks off, which is not seen in other regions. For example, in Asia, most employees (62%) receive one to two weeks of paid time off, and only 31 percent had three to four weeks of time off. No one in Asia reported more than four weeks. There were similar numbers in South America, the Middle East/Africa, and North America.
Most regions offer similar full-time employee benefits, but member companies in Europe also offer attractive benefits to part-time employees. Europe was the only region where some members offer part-time employees investment contributions and paid or unpaid maternity and paternity leave. Members in that region also were the only respondents to offer part-time employees annual bonuses, with approximately 20 percent doing so.
In terms of the economy, more respondents indicated they are feeling an impact of the economic downturn than they did at the end of 2008. But for the most part, member companies are optimistic about continued growth in the sector. For all regions, 57 percent of respondents said they have felt a direct impact from the current global financial crisis, with 28 percent reporting no impact and 15 percent unsure.
Other findings include:
- Staff development/training budgets are popular among Asian members, while most members in all other regions do not have allocated funds in that area.
- In training, 70 percent of all respondents said their employees need more project management training; 67 percent need more training in software and tools.
- Telecommuting is universally popular across all regions with 68 percent of respondents offering it as an option to employees.
- Sixty-nine percent of member respondents anticipate a somewhat reduced demand for services over the next three to six months resulting from the economic downturn.
- Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they are continuing to invest and expand despite the downturn.
- More than half of respondents have not had projects or contracts canceled due to the current economic situation.
GALA conducted the comparative survey to give members a snapshot of the wage, benefit and human resource issues within the industry. The association began conducting quarterly surveys of its members last year in an attempt to increase the overall industry knowledge base.
GALA members may download a copy of the survey results at this link.
Rebecca Petras is the PR and marketing specialist for GALA.