BLR News

1/8/2003

PAY INCREASES WILL AVERAGE 3.6% TO 4.5% IN 2003 ACCORDING TO BLR SURVEY

Wage and salary increases will average between 3.6% and 4.5% in the coming year according to employers responding to Business & Legal Report’s (BLR) annual survey of pay budgets. More than 850 organizations responded to this year’s survey, which asked employers to estimate their pay budgets for merit increases (those based on an individual’s performance or some other measure) and general increases (across-the-board), for 2003. Here are some highs and lows:

MERIT INCREASES – FAR WESTERN STATES GIVE HIGHEST INCREASES IN 2003

Employers in the Far Western states (CA, HI, AK, OR, and WA) may be giving larger merit increases than the rest of the nation – 3.8% to 4.4% to be exact. On the low end of the list, employers in the south (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, and TX) only plan on giving between 2.6% and 3.2%. The national average was between 3.3% and 3.7%.

GENERAL INCREASES – NORTHEAST / MIDDLE ATLANTIC GIVE HIGHEST INCREASES IN 2003

Employers in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic regions (CT, DE, DC, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, AND VA) will receive slightly larger general increases (between 3.2% and 4.0%) than the rest of the nation. Employers in the Central / Rocky Mountain / Southwest states (AZ, CO, ID, KS, MT, NM, NE, NV, ND, SD, UT, and WY) were at the bottom of the list giving between 2.7% and 3.8%. The national average was between 3.1% and 3.5%.

Interestingly enough, only about a quarter of all survey respondents reported that they would be adjusting their rate ranges upward during the coming year.

BLR publishes this survey annually along with wage and hour compliance and best practices information. Results of the survey are reported in BLR’s newsletters. For a complementary copy of the survey results, contact Bruce Plent, Managing Editor at bplent@blr.com.