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January 23, 2008
Report: 2008 Raises Will Barely Change from Last Year
A new global compensation report predicts that United States employees in 2008 will receive pay increases that are barely higher than--or precisely the same as--those they received last year.

According to Mercer's 18th edition of its "Global Compensation Planning Report," employers in North America "will remain cautious in their approach to pay increases, with 2008 increases expected to accelerate only slightly."

In the United States, managerial employees can expect an average raise of 3.7%, up from 3.6% in 2007. While executives can again expect the highest raises--3.9%--this figure remains unchanged from 2006.

Meanwhile, "all professionals" will receive an average raise of 3.7%, just as they received in 2007. This is the same average raise predicted for para-professional white collar employees, though their raise reflects an increase of 0.1% over last year. Finally, para-professional blue collar workers will see the smallest average raises--3.6%--but these too reflect a 0.1% increase over 2007.

As a point of comparison, the report predicts that for all categories of employees besides its executives (also at 3.9%), Canadian employers will give out slightly higher raises than their U.S. counterparts: managers will receive an average raise of 3.9%; all professionals 3.9%; para-professional white collar, 3.8%; and para-professional blue collar, 3.7%. In addition, these raises reflect increases of 0.2% to 0.3% for each category of employee, again with the exception of executives, who have actually seen a 0.2% decline in average raises since 2006, according to the report.

The report also predicts the unemployment rate for the year. Again, Mercer predicts little movement, calling for a 4.8% rate, the same as the United States expected in 2007. Canada's unemployment rate is also expected to remain about the same in 2008 as in 2007, or around 6.2%.

The report provides information regarding raises and unemployment rates (among other statistics) on over 70 countries.

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