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October 31, 2008
Pay Raises Readjusted Downward

Employers report that the average planned merit pay increase for 2009 is now 2.8 percent, down from the average merit pay of 3.71-percent increase that employers reported just a few months ago, according to a survey by Business & Legal Reports (BLR).

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BLR conducted its 2009 Pay Budget Survey in late June, when employers reported an average planned merit increase of 3.71 percent.

However, economic conditions have changed dramatically since that time. Therefore, BLR conducted a follow-up survey to see whether employers have adjusted their 2009 pay-budget plans to reflect new economic conditions.

The results show that many employers are readjusting planned pay raises downward in light of the struggling economy.

"We are just trying to keep the doors open," said one respondent.

In the most recent survey, 39.9 percent of respondents (as of October 31) said they are changing their pay budget plans because of the economic situation. The survey also found that another 30.5 percent said that changes are "under consideration." Nearly 25 percent of respondents said they are making no changes to their pay budget plans.

The possibilities under consideration for making changes to pay budgets include reducing it (39 percent of respondents), having smaller or no rate range increases (nearly 34 percent), putting a freeze on all raises (nearly 25 percent), and delaying effective dates of raises (nearly 15 percent). Respondent could pick more than one option.

The survey included nearly 750 respondents and was conducted online beginning October 24.

You can read more of the results here.

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