What's your pay outlook for 2010?

What's your pay outlook for 2010?

Two reports say your chances for getting a raise are good, but don't expect a lot.
Feb 18, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

The economy appears to be improving, so can you expect a raise this year? Likely so, according to a couple of new salary reports, but your increase may not be as much as in previous years.

Mercer, a human resources consultation firm, surveyed more than 350 mid-size and large U.S. employers for their report 2009/2010 U.S. Compensation Planning Survey Update. The survey showed that only 14 percent of employers plan to freeze salaries across the board this year, down from 30 percent last year. On the other hand, it reveals that the average pay increase is projected to be only 2.7 percent, compared with last year's average of 3.2 percent.

Another report agrees with this lower pay increase percentage for 2010. The Conference Board Salary Increase Budgets for 2010—Winter Update projects that the average salary increase in 2010 will be 2.8 percent, except for executives who will receive a lower average of 2.75 percent. The report says it's the first time in more than 20 years that average salary increases will not exceed 3 percent.

How do these anticipated pay increases equate with inflation and cost-of-living increases? The Conference Board forecasts that the inflation rate will be 2.6 percent in 2010. Thus, overall, pay raises will barely compensate for inflation this year.

Since pay isn't necessarily stellar at the moment, companies are trying to find different ways to retain their current employees and hire outstanding job candidates, says a consultant from Mercer. Some are using incentive programs, such as bonuses, while others are concentrating on employee recognition programs and career development and training opportunities.

How is your salary faring in this economy? What is your practice doing to keep you on board? We'd love to know what you think. Visit our community site at dvm360.com/community, and click on this topic in the message board in the "Comments on articles" section.