Salary Budgets Projected Below 4% for 2008 and 2009

Transportation executives are at the top for actual increases for 2008, with a 4.01% boost.

The Conference Board's Salary Survey was compiled from data gathered from more than 350 companies. Average salary increase budgets were 3.80% for non-exempt, exempt and executive employee categories.

Industries surveyed include banking, communications, consulting services, diversified financial services, diversified services, energy and agriculture, insurance, manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities.

All employee categories in the transportation vertical indicated higher than average increases for 2008, with non-exempt hourly and salaried employees averaging 3.50% increases and exempt employees at 3.75%.

Looking at all industry categories, diversified financial services had the highest 2008 increases for all employee categories. Projections for 2009 indicate that consulting services will have the highest increases. In both years, trade is the lowest of all categories.

Charles Peck, Compensation Specialist with The Conference Board, notes that, “Companies are responding to a sluggish economy by remaining disciplined on labor cost increases. They are aided in this resolve by moderate inflation.” The Conference Board currently projects a 2.7% rise in inflation for 2008 and 3.4% for 2009. This means the typical employer is budgeting for salary increases just slightly ahead of inflation in 2009.

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