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Salary budgets for 2011 are projected to continue rising after hitting historic lows in 2009, according to results from the 2010-2011 Culpepper Salary Budget & Planning Survey.
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 declined significantly, and salary reductions have nearly disappeared.
The report includes data from 933 organizations in 90 countries.
Key Survey Findings and Trends
Salary increases rise.Average global base salary increases across all jobs and locations are projected to jump from 2.59 percent in 2010 to 3.14 percent 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 two-tenths of 1 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 percent in 2010 to 2.91 percent in 2011. Canada salary increases.Base salary increases in Canada are projected to rise from 2.26 percent in 2010 to 2.95 percent in 2011.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.Global regions with the highest salary increases. Base salary increases in South Asia, South America, Africa and the former Soviet Republics (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 the United States and Canada, the Eurozone and member states of European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are lower and less volatile than in other regions.Salary range structure increases.Average global salary range structure increases across all jobs and locations are projected to rise from 1.41 percent in 2010 to 2.10 percent in 2011. Most companies aim to match or lead market pay rates. Nearly 70 percent of companies have a base salary philosophy with an objective to match or lead the market, and they have salaries at or above current market levels.Annual salary reviews most common.Most organizations review base salaries annually on a common focal date.
Salary increase budgets have changed dramatically over the past few years. In early September 2008, before the global economic crisis unfolded, average global base salary increases across all jobs and locations exceeded 4 percent (Figure 1), with only 2 percent of companies freezing salaries (Figure 2). From late 2008 through mid-2009, the number of companies freezing salaries for all employees increased to 37 percent, which drove average base salary increases to historically low levels.
Salary budgets for 2010 and 2011 have improved significantly compared to 2009. However, average projected base salary increases for 2011 are still much lower than 2008 levels.
Note: The survey date for each data point is provided in parentheses. Averages include salary freezes (zeros).
Note: The survey date for each data point is provided in parentheses.
Global Overview of Base Salary Increases
Table 1 provides aggregated average base salary increases for 2010 and 2011 for major regions.
Table 1. Base Salary Increases by Global Region
2010Average ActualBase Salary Increases
2011Average ProjectedBase Salary Increases
Includes Salary Freezes (with zeros)
Excludes Salary Freezes(without zeros)
Global / Worldwide (Aggregate)
Mexico & Central America 
Caribbean & West Indies 
South America 
European Union 
European Union (Eurozone €) 
European Union (Non-Eurozone) 
Europe (Non-European Union) 
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) 
Commonwealth of Independent States 
Middle East / Africa (MEA)
Middle East 
South Asia 
East Asia 
Southeast Asia 
See bottom of page for footnotes listing the countries included in each geographic region.
Global Base Salary Increases by Type of Company
Table 2 provides aggregated average global base salary increases for 2010 and 2011 with breakouts by number of employees, industry sector and ownership. Base salary increases in technology, life science and energy sectors are outpacing other sectors. On average, base salary increases for small companies are significantly higher than those for large companies.
Table 2. Base Salary Increases by Employees, Sector, Ownership
Includes Salary Freezes (with zeros)
All Companies (Aggregate)
Number of Employees
1 to 100
101 to 500
501 to 2,500
2,501 to 10,000
Aerospace & Defense
eBusiness: Online Content & Services
IT Services & Consulting
Network/Data Center/Internet/Telecom Srvs
Contract Research & Clinical Lab Services
Medical Devices & Scientific Equipment
Health Insurance & Managed Care
Hospitals/Medical Centers/Healthcare Srvs
Alternative & Renewable
CleanTech & Alternative Energy
Research Institutes & Organizations
Salary Increase Budgets Vary
In challenging economic times, it is critical to attract top talent and retain high-performing employees who will drive the organization’s success. It is important to consider carefully differences by location, job, company size and industry sector.
Footnotes for Geographic Regions in Table 1
 Mexico & Central America includes data collected for the following countries and territories: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.
 Caribbean & West Indies includes data collected for the following countries and territories: Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and other Caribbean Islands & Territories.
 South America includes data collected for the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
 European Union includes data collected for 27 member states in the European Union. The European Union breakout is a combination of Eurozone (€) and Non-Eurozone.
 Eurozone (also known as euro area and euroland) includes data collected for 16 member states in the European Union that have adopted the euro (€) as their official currency: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
 Non-Eurozone includes data collected for 11 member states in the European Union that have not adopted the euro (€) as their official currency: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
 Non-European Union includes data collected for the following countries in Europe that are not in the European Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
 European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a subset of Non-European Union and includes data collected for the following four member states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
 Commonwealth of Independent States is a subset of Non-European Union and includes data collected for the following former Soviet Republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
 Middle East includes data collected for the following countries: Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
 Africa includes data collected for the following countries: Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
 Asia includes data collected for the following countries: Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
 South Asia is a subset of Asia and includes data collected for the following countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
 East Asia is a subset of Asia and includes data collected for the following countries: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan.
 Southeast Asia is a subset of Asia and includes data collected for the following countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
 Pacific includes data collected data for the following countries and territories: Australia, New Zealand and other Oceania Islands/Territories.
Data source:2010-2011 Culpepper Salary Budget & Planning Survey of 933 organizations.
Survey Dates:June 22, 2010 through Aug. 25, 2010.
Breakdown by sector:• Technology: 44%.• Life science: 14%.• Health care: 7%.• Energy: 4%.• Engineering: 2%.• Other: 29%.
Breakdown by size:• Up to 100 employees: 17%.• 101 to 500 employees: 20%.• 501 to 2,500 employees: 27%.• 2,501 to 10,000 employees: 23%.• Over 10,000 employees: 13%
Breakdown by Ownership/Corporate Status:• Public: 44%.• Private: 42%.• Nonprofit: 13%.• Other: 1%.
Culpepper and Associates conducts worldwide salary surveys and provides benchmark data for compensation and employee benefit programs.
Source: 2010-2011 Culpepper Salary Increase Budget Planning Survey, September 2010, www.culpepper.com.
Reposted with permission.
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