Employee Salaries Edge Higher

By Dennis McCafferty
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    The average total salary increase for U.S. workers in 2013 is 2.9%, up from 2009's 2.2% low.

U.S. workers are seeing their overall compensation increase at a slow but steady pace, according to recent survey findings from WorldatWork. That's a positive sign, as the trend is bucking the pattern of flat salaries for two consecutive years during the most recent recession recovery. (In fact, in 2009, the average reported raise hit a 40-year low.) Also, the percentage of organizations that aren't awarding any increases at all has dropped significantly. And, while companies started delaying their timing on salary reviews during the downturn—with some waiting 15, 18 or even 24 months between raises—more than 95 percent say they're back to awarding pay bumps every 12 months. The best way to get a compensation boost, of course, is to do good work, and the findings support this: Organizations are giving out merit increases at three to five times the rate of any other kind, while seeking other creative ways (like retention bonuses) to keep proven performers. "Salary budgets continue to improve, albeit slowly," says Kerry Chou, senior compensation practice leader for WorldatWork. "[But] organizations continue to be challenged in finding meaningful ways beyond 3 percent raises to reward talent." More than 2,100 human resources professionals who are members of WorldatWork took part in the research.

This article was originally published on 2013-09-03
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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