Good news? About jobs? And pay? It's not every day you read a good headline about the jobs market and it actually applies to you. But there's reason to believe the odds of scoring a raise, or other amazing work perks, are in your favor right now. 
Fifty-eight percent of employers plan to give workers a raise by the end of the year, according to CareerBuilder's Midyear Job Forecast, with a quarter planning increases of 5% plus (meaning, more than the standard cost-of-living bump). Employees at every skill level are expected to benefit, and 71% of HR managers stressed the need to offer better compensation to entry-level workers. 
The good news continues for the one in five workers planning to find a new job soon. Sixty-three percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent workers by the end of the year, and about half plan to offer higher starting salaries. Prospects are particularly bright for those in customer service, sales, information technology, product development and business development. 
So what's tipping the compensation scales in employees' favor? More open positions, low unemployment and an increasing skills gap has made for a competitive hiring environment for recruiting and maintaining top talent. 
Translation for the rest of us: A stronger case for better pay. With more than half of companies offering raises this year, here's how to lock in yours. 

How to Ask for a Raise 

1. Research your numbers. Salary comparison sites can help you make sure you're getting paid what you're worth given your industry, experience, company size and location. Because these sites can be pretty general, you can get a better idea by asking around among peers, recruiters you've worked with before, or mentors who can provide some context. Checking the pay for open job postings can also give you leverage. 
2. Prepare your backup. Now's the time to talk up how stellar of a worker you are. Provide context about how you've improved systems, saved the department money, or grown in your role to take your team to new heights. Hate feeling braggy? Provide positive feedback you've received from supervisors and coworkers to strengthen your case. 
3. Practice, practice, practice. Rehearse your case with a trusted friend in person to perfect your pitch. 
4. Time it right. Your company might not conduct annual reviews until January, but negotiate a raise now while next year's budgets are in the works. Let your manager know you'd like to talk about performance and compensation, then put time on your calendars for a more formal meeting. Advance notice will give both of you time to prepare for a thoughtful discussion. 
5. Think beyond salary. Sometimes, the raise just isn't going to happen. Don't discount the impact of a perk beyond your paycheck. You may be able to make the case for more paid time off, a flexible schedule or work-from-home days. 
Now, go get what you deserve.