Most U.S. Companies Planning Moderate Pay Raises for 2014

New York — Sept. 19

A mixed bag of news regarding pay raises awaits U.S. workers, a new survey shows.

A new survey by global professional services firm Towers Watson shows that most U.S. employers are planning to give workers a raise next year. But the increases will be only slightly larger than those in the past couple of years.

The survey also shows it pays to be a star performer, with those workers receiving raises that are more than 75 percent greater than pay hikes for average performers, according to the survey.

The survey of 910 U.S. companies by Towers Watson Data Services found that only 4 percent of respondents are not planning to give salary increases next year — the same percentage of companies that did not give raises this year but far fewer than the 75 percent that froze salaries during the economic crisis in 2008.

According to the survey, companies are planning pay increases that will average 2.9 percent in 2014 for their salaried non-management employees. That is slightly larger than the 2.8 percent average raise workers received this year and in 2012. Similar raises are also planned for executives and nonexempt employees.

Exempt workers who received the highest performance ratings were granted an average salary increase of 4.6 percent this year — more than 75 percent greater than the 2.6 percent increase given to those workers receiving an average rating. Workers with below-average performance ratings received an average merit increase of 1.3 percent.

Source: Towers Watson