Although the economy is still struggling to make significant strides towards recovery, small improvements are starting to become more evident. The 2011 Compensation Data Healthcare Survey results found pay increase budgets fell to 2.4 percent, a slight decline from 2.5 percent reported in 2010. This decrease, however, is less than the drops seen in 2009 and 2010, in which pay increase budgets fell around half of a percent each year. Pay increase budgets are projected to remain relatively stable in 2012 at 2.5 percent.
"There appears to be a level of cautious optimism within the industry in regard to the economy," said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys, the nation's leading pay and benefit survey data provider. "Employers are taking a conservative approach, and we expect only a gradual increase over the next few years."
Companies use pay increase budgets to make a number of different increases to their employees' salaries. Nearly 67 percent of healthcare organizations are allocating a portion of their budget towards merit increases. More than 33 percent are making market adjustments to their salaries, while 15.8 percent are including promotional increases. Only 10.4 percent of survey respondents are utilizing their pay increase budget for cost of living increases.
The rate at which these increases are used varies widely by industry. Merit increases, for example, are being offered at 94.7 percent of home care organizations. Physician clinics follow at 81.6 percent, with behavioral healthcare facilities reporting them at 71.4 percent. Hospitals are offering merit increases at a rate of 65.8 percent, while critical access hospitals are reporting them the least at 50 percent. The average merit increase budget reported in 2011 was 2.1 percent, with healthcare organizations projecting the same for 2012.
About the Survey</p>
Compensation Data 2011 Healthcare contains data on 250 industry-specific job titles and more than 350 benchmark titles ranging from entry-level to top executives. Data was collected from more than 1,100 healthcare employers reporting on nearly 5,300 locations across the country. The results provide a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefit information and pay practices with an effective date of January 1, 2011.