More Employees See Pay Raises

July 6, 2011 ( - According to WorldatWork’s 38th Annual Salary Budget Survey, salary increases are slowly trending upward toward pre-recession levels.  

WorldatWork has released preliminary data from their annual survey that shows participating organizations reporting at least some base salary increase to an average of 88% of all employees in 2011. This continues the progressive return to the high seen from 2006 to 2008 (91%), up from the low 80% in 2009 and 86% in 2010. The survey reported that the actual increase in salary budgets was 2.8% in 2011 and is projected to rise again to 2.9% in 2012. 

Following the record high of 2009 when 43% of employers reported planning across-the-board salary freezes, that number dropped to 10% in 2010 and fell again to just 3% this year. Depending on performance ratings, the survey found that low performers this year can expect an average pay increase of 0.7%, middle performers 2.7% and high performers 4.0%. 

“The situation where significant numbers of employees are not receiving any pay increases appears to be over for now,” said Kerry Chou, CCP, compensation practice leader at WorldatWork, in a press release. “However a quick return to pre-2008 budget levels seems unlikely given the modest rate at which budgets are recovering.” 

WorldatWork collected data for the survey in April 2011 from 2,256 respondents representing 15 million U.S. employees. The preliminary data is available here. The full survey will be published in early August, and will include results for North American regions, major U.S. metropolitan areas, state-level data, Canadian provinces, major industries, as well as data by organization size. 


Sara Kelly