Salary Hike Budgets Still Slim

September 1, 2009 ( - The 2010 median forecast salary increase budget by The Conference Board is the lowest in the 25-year history of the salary survey, according to a news release.

The news release said the agency is forecasting a 3% budgeted increase for next year, down a half percent from 2009.

According to the Conference Board, changing market conditions throughout 2009 pushed companies to adjust their salary increases downward as the economy worsened. The Conference Board survey reports a full percentage point drop in the medians of the 2009 salary increase budgets in all employee categories except executive, from 3.50% to 2.50%. The executive category took the biggest hit – down from 3.50% to 1.50%.

Across industry categories, Insurance reports the highest 2010 forecasts for salary increase budgets in all employee categories, 3.50%, while Communications reports the lowest in all employee categories – 2.50%. A median forecast of 2.50% is also reported for the salary increase budgets for executives in the Energy/Agriculture industry.

The information for this report was gathered from 291 companies surveyed between April 7 and April 30, 2009.