Irish salaries are forecast to rise by over 2% in 2016, according to a survey of companies by consultants Mercer. 

Mercer surveyed 135 organisations and 97% said they were planning pay hikes in the next year.

Firms in the life sciences, hi tech and services industries are forecasting the largest increases of between 2.5% and nearly 3%. 

As well as pay, some firms are attracting and retaining staff with benefits including pensions, health insurance, flexible working hours. 

"Our December Salary Forecast very much reflects the positive sentiment and improving performance of the Irish economy", commented Noel O’Connor, Mercer Talent Consultant.

"The outlook is that salary increases are firmly back on the agenda for the vast majority of organisations," he added.