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March 14, 2008
How Will Economic Climate Impact Staffing, Pay Practices?
A new survey reveals what changes employers are planning regarding staffing levels and compensation budgets in the wake of recent reports of declining U.S. economic conditions.

According to the survey, conducted by Mercer (www.mercer.com), one in three (33 percent) U.S. companies are considering or instituting a staff freeze or reduction. Only 6 percent are planning or in the process of expanding their staff level while most (60 percent) expect to make/are making no change.

Respondents were also asked whether they had considered or instituted 2008 compensation budget changes--such as reducing their planned compensation budget or instituting pay freezes--since the 4th quarter of 2007, in anticipation of a slower economy. Ten percent of companies were considering a budget reduction and another six percent had already reduced their budget. Meanwhile, 85 percent indicated that they had made no changes.

Also with respect to compensation, the survey found that 41 percent of U.S. companies are considering or instituting a recalibration of pay-for-performance targets, measures and policies (in order to ensure that they are appropriate). And, 38 percent are thinking about or already are developing new--or enhancing existing--variable pay programs.

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