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The prelim WorldatWork annual salary increase survey just came out yesterday and looks pretty much like last year with 3% merit and total increases budgeted across all employee categories. Do you think this will change by the time the final version comes out, with companies pulling back on this 3% and only providing increases to critical groups of employees - hi-pos, high performers, hard to fill, skill shortage jobs? Do you have any other specific materials to reference to help us support this case? The annual surveys are a bit of a chicken/egg situation - many want to know what the surveys say before modeling their budgets.

Yes. It is ironic that those quickest to proclaim, "we are unique," are often the first to demand guidance on consensus practices before deciding their "unique" posture. That said, those who conduct continual evergreen pay increase surveys see the metrics for the next twelve months declining by about one-tenth every quarter or so. While hot/critical jobs can rise by double digits, low-skill workers will actually be replaced for less and many people get no annual increase at all. Different industries recover at different times, too. The biggest problem is the surveys that only measure INCREASES and remain silent about those who went without any last year and who may not be budgeted for one in the future, either.

Each ERI Update (http://www.erieri.com/newsletter/_Data/2012/April2012.pdf and the July2012 one out in a few days) gives periodic high-level summaries.

P.S. WorldAtWork just reported that the CareerBuilders Harris poll with 95% confidence level says: “49% of workers reported they have not had a merit increase since 2010. 25% have not had a merit increase since before 2008.” Wow. That informs this discussion. Reality is different for everyone.

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