This is the number of people getting raises during a pandemic

Good news can be hard to come by these days so we at Ladders are happy to report more than half of working Americans received — or are expected to receive — a pay increase this year.

The latest MagnifyMoney survey took a poll of 1,000 full-time employed Americans to get the dirt on their financial ups and downs they experienced first-hand this year. With many businesses either shuttering or having to totally rethink operations due to a remote work transition, it’s safe to say it’s been a challenging year for all.

However, this study will focus on the financial wins experienced by those who thought outside the box and innovated new, successful approaches to the way they run a business and save money smarter in the meantime.

The rewards of staying afloat amid a chaotic year

For those of us who’ve managed to make it this far into the year without burning out or feeling hopeless about big changes when it comes to doing business these days deserves a substantial raise.

I might also make some of those “I survived 2020” t-shirts to pass out in the breakroom once we can return to office life in 2021 (fingers crossed.)

This year 54% of respondents in the survey got that coveted raise. Want some even better news? Of the 54% of people who got raises 49% of them were also promoted.

Unfortunately, the gender pay gap is alive and well reporting a discrepancy of 54% of men receiving both a raise and promotion compared to only 42% of women. This disparity in opportunities brought the mean average to only 49% of folks enjoying dual benefits and growth in their respective companies.

Despite those blind-spots to work on for equal opportunities in the workplace, it’s a miracle there was such an opportunity for growth and innovative thinking regarding a corporate world “gone remote.” Some more hopeful statistics this year as far as financial gains go is that 56% of full-time employees increased their retirement savings after a pay boost.

Millennials also had a banner year when it came to celebrating financial security or improvements. Our generation consistently gets dragged in various op-eds as the lazy generation or job-hopping hobbyists. Many of us were forced to navigate the gig economy because of crippling student loan debt and an anemic job market saturated and stagnant when it came to company growth. Another issue is that many companies offered free internships or short term contracts (freelance work for creatives primarily,) in lieu of actually paying recent college grads an appropriate amount of money to fund the increased cost of living since having experience is crucial to break into any industry.

This has made it nearly impossible for us to accrue savings or give to a retirement fund, but despite all of the hurdles our generation has had to overcome and the luxuries we’ve had to forfeit in the pursuit of financial solvency, 2020 has been a great year for the Millennial workforce. Of the 38% of Millennials who experienced a pay cut at the beginning of the pandemic 53% of them had their pay restored. Millennials were also more likely to receive a pay raise compared to Gen Xers and baby boomers. Only 12% experienced this pay raise by switching to a new job, so that old stereotype needs to go.

What are some more ways we can make our money grow?

The recipients of raises this year were also surprised by this type of bonus considering many companies had to cut back on funds due to pandemic related casualties. The 50% who were shocked to start earning more money put it to good use since 56% of participants in the survey told researchers at MagnifyMoney they actively increased their contributions to a retirement fund. It’s a good idea to be smart with your money during a crisis of this scale since you can be hit with unexpected medical bills or financial emergencies like losing your job or getting fewer opportunities as a gig economy worker with many creative gigs on hold at the moment.

Here are some helpful tips from financial advisors at MagnifyMoney to make your hard-earned money work even harder for you by putting it in the right place.

  • Start putting away funds into a high-yield deposit product. Examples of these types of accounts are certificates of deposit, high-yield online savings accounts or cash management accounts offered by many fintech companies.
  • Set aside an emergency fund! Like I mentioned earlier, if 2020 has taught us anything it’s to expect the unexpected and have some money put away for any health, job, or housing-related emergencies.
  • Do your research! Before going with any old savings account or bank look up the kind of accounts they offer. Be on the lookout for banks that will offer savings accounts with higher interest rates and returns for your money than your typical chain on the corner.
  • Invest, invest, invest your money. This bears repeating, trust me. Do you want your money to grow exponentially without having to lift a finger? Invest it! It may seem daunting trying to understand the minutiae of the stock market but there are financial advisors available to help point you in the right direction.