Firms will struggle to retain staff in 2017, with two out of three workers planning to seek a better-paid job, according to a new study.
Recruiter Hays said its research among 2,200 employers and employees showed that business was braced for a "wave" of departures, which could threaten economic productivity.
The survey also revealed that professional salaries increased by an average of just 1.8% in 2016, around 0.5% lower than the previous year.
Just over half of workers said they were unhappy with their pay.
Nigel Heap, managing director of Hays UK & Ireland, said: "Pay continues to cause dissatisfaction among UK professionals and many intending to leave their jobs this year in search of more competitive salaries.
"The majority of employers are expected to increase salaries in 2017 and employees working in accountancy and construction are set for some of the biggest proportional rises.
"Yet this may only mount pressure on the employers in these sectors, as firms that are unable to match these high salaries are likely to see staff move elsewhere."