Salary Increase Budgets for 2010 and 2011

Results from the 2010-2011 Culpepper Salary Budget & Planning Survey reveal that salary budgets for 2011 are projected to continue rising after hitting historic lows in 2009. Despite a weak job market, most companies report improved confidence with their cash compensation budgets. Projected budgets for 2011, including salary increases, promotional increases, and variable incentives, are all higher than 2010. Furthermore, the number of companies reporting salary freezes has significantly declined, and salary reductions have nearly disappeared.

This year's report includes data from 933 participating organizations for 90 countries and 21 international geographic regions. Topics include salary budgeting and planning practices, base salary increases, salary structure increases, promotional increases, and budgets for variable cash incentives.

Key Survey Findings and Trends

  • Most Companies Aim to Match or Lead Market Pay Rates:
    Nearly 70 percent of companies have a base salary philosophy with an objective to either match or lead the market and pay salaries at or above current market levels.

  • Annual Salary Reviews Most Common:
    Most organizations review base salaries annually on a common focal date.

  • Salary Increases Rise:
    Average global base salary increases across all jobs and locations are projected to jump from 2.59% in 2010 to 3.14% in 2011.

  • Salary Freezes Continue to Thaw:
    The number of companies freezing salaries is projected to decline sharply from 14 percent in 2010 to 4 percent in 2011.

  • Very Few Companies Cutting Salaries:
    Only 0.2% (two tenths of one percent) of companies plan to cut salaries in 2011.

  • U.S. Salary Increases:
    Base salary increases in the United States are projected to rise from 2.38% in 2010 to 2.91% in 2011.

  • Canada Salary Increases:
    Base salary increases in Canada are projected to rise from 2.26% in 2010 to 2.95% in 2011.

  • Global Regions with the Highest Salary Increases:
    Base salary increases in South Asia, South America, Africa, and the former Soviet Republics (i.e., Commonwealth of Independent States) are higher and more volatile than other regions of the world.

  • Global Regions with the Lowest Salary Increases:
    Base salary increases in Northern America (i.e., United States and Canada), the Eurozone (€), and member states of European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are lower and less volatile than other regions of the world.

  • Technology, Life Science, and Energy Sectors Lead the Way:
    Base salary increases in technology, life science, and energy sectors are projected to outpace other sectors in 2011.

  • Salary Range Structure Increases:
    Average global salary range structure increases across all jobs and locations are projected to rise from 1.41% in 2010 to 2.10% in 2011.
To read the full report and to see charts that break down:
  • Trends in Average Base Salaries by Global Region and Industry Sector; and

  • Trends in Companies Freezing Salaries