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February 25, 2011
Largest Merit Increases Since Before the Recession, Survey Suggests

In 2011, U.S. employers are planning to give employees the largest merit increases since before the recession, according to a new survey. The findings also suggest an increase in hiring.

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The survey, conducted by Towers Watson, found that employers are budgeting for merit increases of 3 percent for 2011, an increase from actual merit increases in 2010 (2.7 percent), and the largest merit increase since before the recession.

On the other hand, there are a percentage of employers planning to freeze salaries. According to the survey:

  • 5% plan to freeze salaries for all workers (the same as 2010)
  • 13% plan to freeze salaries for executives (lower than 2010)
  • 12% plan to freeze salaries for hourly workers (lower than 2010)

The survey also suggests there will be an increase in hiring. Forty-two percent of companies are planning to hire workers for positions that require critical skills, while 40% plan to recruit professional and technical workers in 2011. One in four companies also plans to hire sales professionals and hourly workers this year.

However, the employers report they are experiencing problems attracting and retaining certain employees.

More than half of employers reported problems attracting critical-skill workers, and 3 in 10 reported problems retaining these employees. In addition, nearly forty percent of employers are having difficulty hiring top-performing employees, and 1 in 4 employers report difficulty retaining top-performers.

Related article:

Wall Street Bonuses Down, Shift Towards Deferred Compensation, Stock Options

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