Survey: More Firms Doling Out Raises, Bonuses

August 25, 2003 ( - Paychecks apparently will be getting fatter as nearly all of the HR executives polled for a recent survey said their companies are upping employee wages.

According to a survey by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers are focused on acknowledging the accomplishments of their employees with bonuses and salary increases rather than spending money on recruiting new staff.

Some 98% of the 110 HR officials contacted said raises were in store for 2003. Of those 87% said salaries at their shop would go up 2% to 5%. According to the survey, three quarters (72%) plan to hand out employee bonuses this year.

Even though some workers will be receiving pay hikes and/or bonuses, the Challenger poll found that the economy wasn’t yet out of the woods – at least in terms of the confidence level of the HR officials. While 60% felt the economy was slowly building momentum, 40% felt that the economy remains weak.

In the survey, 48% were either “not at all” confident or “not very” confident about the job market¹s ability to rebound by the end of 2003. About one in five (21%) were somewhat confident of a year-end turnaround. The remaining 31% were uncertain.

That means many companies are still cautions, putting off most hiring and asking employees to take on more work to assure increases in customer demand are met, according to Challenger.

The nationwide survey covered human resource executives in the technology, manufacturing and service sectors.