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Satisfaction with pay is on the rise, as employees across the Nordic region enjoy an average 3.7% increase over the last year

Nordic salary survey 2016 download cover image.png

Nigel Wright surveyed over 1,500 respondents from Denmark, Sweden and Norway working across different disciplines and levels, in sectors such as Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, Consumer Electronics, DIY, Fashion and Apparel, Household Products, Luxury Goods, OTC pharmaceuticals, Leisure & Entertainment, Media and Publishing, Retail and E-commerce and Travel.

Using our large data set, we gathered information on the average salary and benefits people receive within the region, as well as data on job satisfaction, the reasons for leaving jobs, gender differences in pay, and the methods used by candidates in their job search.

Some of the highlights of the survey are outlined below:



  • Employees working in the Nordic consumer sector received, on average, a 3.7% pay rise in the past year. The rate of increase had declined from 4.1% in 2015;
  • Norwegians enjoyed the biggest increase in pay (4.2%) followed by Swedes (3.9%). These were in line with expectations from the previous year. Danes (3.3%), on the other hand, received less than expected by 0.6%;
  • People who said they were satisfied with their remuneration across the region increased marginally from 76.1% to 77.9% with the Danes appearing to be the most satisfied (82.1%) followed by Swedes (74.1%).



  • The number of people who said they received a guaranteed bonus in this year’s survey declined by 3%, but the average guaranteed bonus received increased from 11.5% to 12.8% with Danes receiving the highest at 15%; 
  • Company bonuses also increased, on average, from 10.4% to 13.9% as did personal bonuses which jumped from 9.8% to 14%. In both instances, there were fewer people receiving them, compared to last year;
  • 11.5% of respondents indicated they would be tempted to change jobs if offered better flexible working conditions elsewhere;
  • 87% said they already enjoy some flexible working arrangements in their current role, the most popular was ‘being allowed to work from home’ (Denmark 71%; Norway 69%; Sweden 66%). These figures are higher than in many other European countries (the equivalent in UK consumer companies, for example, is 58%).


Job satisfaction

  • Overall job satisfaction has increased during the last twelve months, with 82% of people across the Nordic region saying they were at least satisfied, if not very satisfied, in their current role compared to 79% last year. The biggest increase was in Denmark, which jumped 4%.


Searching for jobs

  • Alongside approaching recruiters (47%) and employers directly (40%), using job boards (40%) and social networking sites (48%) continue to be popular methods for Nordic job seekers when securing a new role.
  • 50% of Swedes now use social networking sites when looking for new opportunities. This has increased by 10% since last year’s survey, the biggest jump across the Nordic territories.
  • Whilst the three Nordic countries show similarities, one key difference is that 19% of Norwegians say that they would use regional or local newspapers to search for a new role. The Norwegians are also more inclined to use online job boards (47%) than the Danes (43%) and the Swedes (34%).


Click below to read the full report.