MADISON, Wis. (7/11/14)--Burgeoning membership expansion and the potential for double-digit loan growth are incubating a stronger employment environment at credit unions--one that portends more hires and increased wages, according to research from the Credit Union National Association.
In the soon-to-be released 2014-2015 CUNA Staff Salary Report, nearly 30% of credit unions plan to add full-time employees to their payrolls in 2014--an increase from overall figures of 25% in 2013 and 20% in 2012.
In credit unions with $200 million or more in assets, a full 60% plan to expand their employee numbers this year.
"With credit union operating results in the aggregate, and by most means, back to pre-recession levels, credit unions are healthier than they have been in years," CUNA interim Chief Economist Mike Schenk told
Between trends of double-digit loan growth and 2.5% annual membership growth, "it's a pretty good indication that there would be a need for additional people and resources to serve new members," Schenk added.
On average, credit unions plan to add 3.9 full-time employees. That number rises with asset size, hitting 37 expected additions for credit unions with assets of $3 billion or more.
Part-time employees also play a part in 2014, with almost a quarter of credit unions planning to add part-time workers and an average 2.1 staff members. Fewer than 10% of credit unions plan to reduce full- or part-time staff, and the vast majority of those planning to make reductions are eliminating just one position.
This is the third year that nearly three-quarters of credit unions with $1 million or more in assets have plans for wage or salary increases. "As the job environment improves, credit unions will be paying more to keep their top-performing employees," said Jon Haller, CUNA director of market and corporate research.
Both actual increases and anticipated increases are somewhat more likely to be found among credit unions with assets of $20 million or more than among their smaller counterparts.
About 70% to 80% of credit unions provided salary/wage increases to each of the three following employee categories: CEO, management employees and non-management employees.
Similar percentages of credit unions anticipate providing such increases to each of these groups this year and in 2015.
Wage growth also is supported by a reduction in pay freezes, Haller noted. "Only 17% anticipate any wage freezes this year, a significant drop from the 2010 and 2011 high of 45% and the slide to 35% in 2012 and 2013," he said.
Those expected wage freezes are more likely to be encountered at credit unions with less than $20 million assets.
As credit unions look to a changing leadership demographic, 10% of CEOs--including about 25% to 35% who are currently age 60 or older--plan to retire in the next two years. Seventy-five percent of credit unions with CEO retirements on the horizon have succession plans in place.
The survey features compensation data for 90 positions, including CEO and 10 part-time positions. Data includes:
- Base salaries;
- Total cash compensation;
- Salary ranges; and
- Asset categories for $1 billion to $3 billion, and more than $3 billion.