U.S. Base Salary Increases on the Rise for 2011

January 3, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - U.S. employees can expect median base salary increases of 2.8% in 2011, according to a new Hay Group survey.

This compares to median actual base salary increases of 2.4% in 2010. Planned increases in 2011 are also at 2.8% for management/professional and support positions. Executives and skilled trade jobs come in slightly lower at 2.7%. Top performers are reported to receive a median 3.1% increase.  

According to a press release, Hay Group’s research also finds the percentage of organizations using or considering significant labor cost reduction items is considerably lower than data reported 18 to 24 months ago.   

Percentage of organizations using or considering the following labor cost reduction actions:  

  • Pay freezes: 18%;  
  • Reduced retirement benefits: 17%;  
  • Other reduced benefits: 15%;  
  • Decreasing staffing levels: 10%;  
  • Job sharing: 9%;  
  • Furloughs: 7%;  
  • Reduced working hours: 5%;  
  • Salary cuts: 4%. 


The press release said one exception to this trend is the continued emphasis on increasing employee co-pays and scaling back on employer paid coverage. Nearly 50% of organizations report either actual recent increases in employee co-pays (or reduced employer paid coverage), or that they are considering doing this in the near future.   

Hay Group’s forecast results are based on the latest data available from Hay Group’s U.S. database, provided by 468 U.S. organizations in November 2010.