New Data Shows Uneven Comp. Patterns

June 1, 2009 ( - Median total cash compensation has increased year-over-year among some jobs and decreased for others, according to Mercer's latest Market Pulse Report.

A Mercer news release said positions in manufacturing, information technology and engineering show increases up to 2%in base salary and annual incentivecompared to positions in marketing, finance and salesthat show pay drops.Meanwhile,median total cash compensation for professionals has increased by almost 2%while it has decreased by nearly 5%for executives.

class=”NormalIndent2″> “While salary increases overall are relatively low, certain jobs are bucking the trend with increases nearly twice the rate of the overall market,”saidSusan Haberman, Mercer’s U.S. regional leader for information product solutions, in the news release. “Organizations are paying more for these positions since they support company-specific needs.”

class=”NormalIndent2″> On the whole,median total cash compensation increases year-over-year are about half that of base salary increases (1.2% vs. 2.2%, respectively) across all jobs, industries and geographies, according to Mercer. According to Haberman,executive and management positions are seeing the smallest increases in pay.

class=”NormalIndent2″> Having trimmed workforces and decreased hours with a corresponding reduction in pay, many companies continue to struggle with cost-containment challenges and are budgeting pay levels accordingly. For those employees(67%) receiving a base pay increase, salary budgets for 2009 are projected to be 3.2%on average for employees overall.

While fewer executives (56%) are expected to receive base bay increases – compared to more than 70%of office/clerical/technician and trades/production/service employees – these increases will be slightly higher. For those who receive increases, executives are expected to receive base pay adjusted up 3.5%in 2009 compared to increases of 3.1%for the employee categories of office/clerical/technician andtrades/production/service.

class=”NormalIndent2″> Executives will fair the worst in terms of salary freezes. Survey findings show 44% of organizations are planning to freeze salaries for executives in 2009 and 15% the following year, compared to 28% and 11%, respectively, for office/production/service staff.

According to Mercer’s survey, 88% of organizations are projecting pay increases to all employees in 2010.


class=”NormalIndent2″> Mercer’s Market Pulse Report is based on data from more than 640 organizations.