Report: Higher pay raises expected in 2011

U.S. workers may receive slightly better pay raises this year, a shift that could add momentum to the economic recovery, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

With corporate America sitting on large piles of cash, signs are mounting that some of the benefits will start trickling down to employees, the WSJ writes.

This could mean average wage gains of as much as 3 percent in 2011, compared with 1.7 percent in 2010, the WSJ reports.

“There are some green shoots in terms of wages,” Torsten Slok, senior economist at Deutsche Bank in New York, told the WSJ. “Companies are starting to respond in a more traditional way and reward their workers.”

Thus far in the recovery, companies have focused more on controlling costs than on sharing the fruits of rising profits and productivity with their staffs, the WSJ writes.

Now, though, the austerity appears to be easing. In a recent survey by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, chief financial officers forecast an average 2.5 percent pay increase in 2011, up from the 1.9 percent they forecast for 2010 a year earlier. A separate survey by the Society for Human Resource Management suggested the average increase could be closer to 3 percent, the WSJ reports.

It isn’t clear how widespread any pay increases might be, the WSJ writes.

What’s happening at your workplace? Do you expect to see better raises or not?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

81 comments Add your comment

In a tight

February 11th, 2011
6:45 am

I have worked for the state for 22 yrs. I have a master’s degree and make less than $40,000/yr. We get raises when the Legislature says we can (ie: sporadically). Our last raise was Oct 2008 (4%); then Jan 2009 our health ins. premiums went up 7%. We don’t get cost-of-living raises. Now working a second job.

Sam the Sham

February 11th, 2011
6:54 am

I’m with ‘tight’. Our work force has been reduced by 33%. Our health insurance premiums are up 30% and our deductibles and copays are up 50%. We have earned pay raises for several years by providing excellent service and consistently improving performance, but have received none. The people of this state will eventually suffer through the loss of experienced and dedicated state employees who, it appears, are no longer considered assets.

perils of working for the state

February 11th, 2011
7:03 am

Yep, no raises for state workers again. In my 9 years with the state, I have had 3 raises for a total of 7 %. All this with “exceptional” ratings on each of my annual evaluations. I watch the best and brightest come in with great expectations, see the dead end serving the state becomes, and high tail it for Federal work at 50% more pay. Generally, the only well paid are agency heads, their hand-picked cronies, and the Governors staff. I agree we should share the pain, but my guess is “no Deal” will not give any raises his entire first term, (unless he feels the need to pander to the teachers and favors that group with a raise) for as we all know, we state workers are the root of all evil in Georgia.

Edward

February 11th, 2011
7:59 am

Henry, What’s in the pipe you are smoking? Pay raises don’t mean anything in today’s two job environment. If you want a raise you have to work two jobs…One for benefits, the other for spending money(extra’s).

Crystal

February 11th, 2011
8:11 am

i’m an employee of the state and NO RAISES for us. Yes health insurance has steadily increased over the past couple of years, my work load has increased as well my salary on the other hand has been at a Major standstill for the past 4 years. It is true in state government, it all about who you know not necessarily what you know. I agree with “perils of working for the state” the agency heads and their croonies (i.e., friends of family) get promotions, raises, etc. and the employees that keeps the ship moving forward gets Nothing…

Gene

February 11th, 2011
8:16 am

Sonny Perdue did pretty well, but then he had to take care of himself with Go Fish and other personal adventures with public funds. I expect his clone will also benefit from “public service.”

Republicans Don't Care

February 11th, 2011
8:16 am

When are you people going to wake up? Republicans don’t care about the little guy or as Isakkson calls them “the unwashed.” Seniors have not received a raise in SS for two straight years. For many of us this is our only income. I worked and paid into SS for 50 years. Food keeps going up; gasoline keeps going up; utilities keep going up; medicine keeps going up; we keep sinking further just like you folks. But like I said – Republicans don’t care about any of us. The teachers aren’t treated any better either – they like the rest of us – Seniors, you workers, teachers – we are all the root of all evil in their eyes. Better watch out because next they will be messing with your pensions.

Vince

February 11th, 2011
8:17 am

I’m intersted in reading all the comments from state workers. I recently saw an opening with the Ga Dept of Behavioral Health for a Budget Manager. I thought about applying since I have over 14 years of health care experience as an accountant/budget analyst. But after reading some on the comments from state workers, I think I’ll just stay where I’m at.

Dee

February 11th, 2011
8:19 am

I have not seen a raise in 3 years. I am a school teacher, do I need to say more. I agree with perils of working for the state. Health insurance goes up every year co-pay is $45.00. Who are you referring to for hefty raise, NOT I!!!!!!! let’s keep it real………………………………

LKW

February 11th, 2011
8:25 am

Enter your comments here

State workers are taxes

February 11th, 2011
8:28 am

News flash state workers….you don’t add anything to the economy, you are a drag on the economy. Every dollar you are paid has to come from taxes. In case you haven’t noticed unemployment is at 10+% and everyone is having to get by on less. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and go to work in the private sector. Government is bloated and can’t maintain what it tries to do. People are going to have to learn to do without government services because the govenment can’t pay for them. What is eventually going to HAVE to happen is that a majority of goverment services are going to have to be privatized and we will all have to pay for those services equally. Everything is going to have to change….the money is not there to pay for the bloated govenrment anymore.

State workers are taxes

February 11th, 2011
8:28 am

News flash state workers….you don’t add anything to the economy, you are a drag on the economy. Every dollar you are paid has to come from taxes. In case you haven’t noticed unemployment is at 10+% and everyone is having to get by on less. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and go to work in the private sector. Government is bloated and can’t maintain what it tries to do. People are going to have to learn to do without government services because the govenment can’t pay for them. What is eventually going to HAVE to happen is that a majority of goverment services are going to have to be privatized and we will all have to pay for those services equally. Everything is going to have to change….the money is not there to pay for the bloated govenrment anymore.

LKW

February 11th, 2011
8:29 am

who’s getting the raises? My pay has been frozen by your president for the next two years cause him and his wife spend to darn much money and for the presidential enforced health care! Plus my taxes have gone up so much I don’t know where I am going to get the money to pay IRS this year. I don’t live a life of luxury and have nothing left to cut out of my budget. In fact I haven’t even been able to afford a vacation for the last four years and now my husband has been downsized so we are trying just to keep the roof over our head with one income!!!!!Some of this trash we (the middle) class are paying for need to get of their A and start working and help pay their own way in life. You rich folks need to start carrying your own load to instead of finding ways not to help pay your presidents bills!

Skreet

February 11th, 2011
8:29 am

I work for a nonprofit and have seen everyone in our 6000+ company get raises of 2.0 — 5.0 percent each year for the past three years. I always thought the state workers had the better deal but I guess that was in the past.

State Workers

February 11th, 2011
8:31 am

You state workers & teachers get all the holidays and still complain about pay. Feel free to join the corporate world where we get far less time off as well as few raises.

LKW

February 11th, 2011
8:34 am

to state taxes are taxes – what private employer is hiring? Every job my husband has been offered in the last 6 months has been in north GA and only paying $10 to $13 an hour. That won’t even pay expenses for him to go to work and return home! You need to think before you speak.

Teacher

February 11th, 2011
8:35 am

Being a teacher is great, you under perform and still get raises, the summers off aren’t bad either with all the other vacation time.

Charles

February 11th, 2011
8:35 am

Instead of giving raises, why don’t they start putting a dent in the unemployment rate and start hiring us back to work!

LKW

February 11th, 2011
8:36 am

Teacher – you must be one of those teachers that is in it for the benefits and not to educate our teachers!

LKW

February 11th, 2011
8:37 am

sorry – not to educate our children!

Bruce Sutter

February 11th, 2011
8:40 am

Don’t work for the state if you plan on getting raises. There is money in every pot except for the raise pot. The state doesn’t reward good help, so the good help leaves and there is nothing left but lazy state employees. This good help is hitting the road first chance I get!

Trevor

February 11th, 2011
8:43 am

I am not a state employee, but if one wants to talk economics, it would seem to me the state could do better by paying its employees a decent wage. Look at how many of the state jobs are, or could be, revenue producing – economic development; finance; tax dept; natural resources; agriculture; and the list goes on. By having well qualified (not to say that the current employees aren’t) and motivated employees in place, the state would also face lower turnover costs and better service to the public. One reason I did not work for the state is that I never liked the concept of paying low wages because state employees are “public servants.” They spent the money and time to get their qualifications for their jobs as anybody else and also need to make a living. How can one give 100% to an employer that insists on making war on them?

Joel Edge

February 11th, 2011
8:48 am

Hate to mention it. I have worked in private industry for about 30+ years. Wages have tanked for about the last fifteen. Pay raises of 3 and 4 percent would be a gift. If you have a state job and actually got some form of raise, count your blessing, and do all you can to hold on to your job. It’s brutal out here, folks.

Road Scholar

February 11th, 2011
9:02 am

State workers are taxes: So I guess we’ll roll up the roads, sewers, and water systems that are of no value to you. Oh, and your tax refund….not! What’s your tag number…I’m sure a State Trooper would like to give you a “valuable” experience.

If everyone could be as righteous, intelligent, short sighted and biased as you, wouldn’t the state be wonderful to live in? Not! Go back under your rock!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJC , Ben Johnson and RhondaMo, Renee King. Renee King said: Today in Science Fiction……@ajc Pay raises — anyone remember those? — are likely to be higher in 2011. http://bit.ly/eQARds [...]

HateWhiners

February 11th, 2011
9:31 am

Hey, state workers – quit your whining. You have a job. Many of you SHOULD’NT have a job, considering I’ve seen some of you ‘work’. STFU and GBTW.

Bruce Sutter

February 11th, 2011
9:32 am

Just remember if you don’t take care of your good employees somebody will! 3% keeps them even with inflation and what the government says about the rate of inflation is bogus. I need 3% just to pay the additional cost of loosing my Ga homestead exemption tax, Ga Power increases and health insurance increases. That doesn’t include $3 a gallon gas and the price of groceries going up.

B

February 11th, 2011
9:41 am

In the year we downsized nearly 20%, we had a record year for revenues. Though we had a 10% drop in revenues this past year without 20% of our full workforce, we still haven’t seen any pay raises. Our workforce is working harder and more efficiently to get done what needs to get done. As you all said, inflation is taking its toll, healthcare premiums are up, and I have had no raise in 3 years and even went back to school and got my MBA.

By the way, I work in the manufacturing side of things, and business is looking very good. Hopefully, we can get some of you unemployed back into jobs so we can return to some level of normalcy.

Bruce 53

February 11th, 2011
9:42 am

Yes ! The trickle down economics working at it’s best ! Let’s
get on our knees and kiss the feet of large corporations for
throwing Americans some bread crumbs ! I think the Egyptions are on to something.American workers under the surface are boiling.

oneofeach4me

February 11th, 2011
9:47 am

@LKW ~ Hmm… you must work for the federal government, cause that is the only pay “our president” has frozen for the next two years. Healthcare will not be “enforced” for another two years so I am not sure how that effects you now. “Our president” extended the Bush tax cuts, so I don’t understand how your taxes have increased. I want to understand your position, your frustration, and your misplaced blame. Help me understand.

BROWNGROOVY

February 11th, 2011
9:51 am

@LKW: You havent received a raise well before YOUR President, President Obama, entered office; so drop that subject. State workers will always be at the bottom of the food chain as long as political pundits continue to think that there is no worth in the State Worker. Bruce, I agree: the Egyptians are on to something. I say all state workers should have a “call out” day.

retiredds

February 11th, 2011
9:59 am

Road Scholar: your reply at 9:02 to state workers are taxes is brilliant. I couldn’t have expressed it better myself.

Yes to Raises

February 11th, 2011
10:02 am

We’ve just hired two folks and the rest of us are getting 5% after almost three years of no increases. Things are still very tight but looking up!

StopComplaining

February 11th, 2011
10:24 am

@LKW stop being so bitter. This mess we are in is NOT “Our” president’s fault. This has been going on for the last 8 years. The economy really started crashing, I know for me in 2006. That’s when I was laid off and my home went into foreclosure and so on. “Our” president is just being blamed for this mess because that’s what you and your people want to do. But you people know the real deal. “our” president is not the blame, it was “the other” one. As for Teacher – That’s a good deal. LKW only wishes for that kind of position. As for the State Workers – Lord help!! I’ve been a state worker for 23 years. Oh yea, I was rehired in another state agency. Thank The Lord! To all, be thankful that you do have a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back and last but not least a computer to vent your frustrations!! AND a way to provide all of these things. Have you seen the people living on the street lately. It’s growing……

StopComplaining

February 11th, 2011
10:32 am

Ok “oneofeach4me” better said. “Trevor” even better said.

govtemployeesLAWL

February 11th, 2011
10:39 am

I would not give raises to Govt employees either. Most of your roles are redundant and cause the people you are supposedly servicing a hassle everytime we deal with you. As for the person with the masters degree working for the state you must still be there because the private sector deems your skillset unwanted. If i was Govenor for a day I would wipe out 3/4 of the workforce and get corporate consultants in house and streamline the states services. until the State/Federal government employees realize they work for the taxpayers they should never get a raise in my opinion. You all are lazy and think you are entitled just like people that ride welfare for a living.

Now on to the column……We are projecting 5% or better payraises in our company this year. Thi sis on top od a 15% profit sharing contributon and a 4% bonus. I cant wait to splurge.

Have a nice day,

Corportate American

schmitty

February 11th, 2011
10:39 am

Teacher – if you really are one, your a disgrace to the education system. Also, there too many idiots commenting here. How are state workers a burden on the economy? ( thats at you state workrs are taxes) Those workers spend there money in the private sector as well. I bet in your dystopian dream world there are no state workers and everything is run by private business. yea that will work out great. On another note, Obama HAS increased taxes. ALL of his tax decreases have been temporary and tax increases have been permanent.

govtemployeesLAWL

February 11th, 2011
10:43 am

Notice all your taxmoney goes to State workers commenting on blogs. Very Efficient way to spend our taxdollars.

BamaGurl

February 11th, 2011
10:46 am

Good morning! I am a state employee of over 20+ years. I remember that once upon a time people thought that to be an employee of the state was a great job and it paid pretty good, but, not as good as the private sector. However, what people sometimes fail to realize is that state employees balance the budget. That is why we have not had raises in salaries in over 3-4 years, we have to take a furlough day and our health premiums have gone up. What more can we do? We are not exempt from paying for food, gasoline, home heating and electrical bills which are high. However, you chose to elect NoDeal, I would assume to circumvent the present President because you believed that the Republicans would restore something. Now you see that he is just like all of the other Republicans: interested in putting their friends and families in high paying positions, getting finanacial breaks on land deals and only God knows what else. As for the teachers they voted Sonny in based on the fact that they wanted more money to do nothing. Look in the parking lots of these schools, you see more BMW’s, Lexis’, Cadillacs, etc. and your kids can’t even pass a graduation exam much less fill out a job application. That group (teachers) I have no sympathy for and as time goes on you will hear and see about more corruption and malfeance from the school systems, whether it be Fulton County, City of Atlanta or Dekalb County. Talk to your kids about their teachers and BELIEVE them, they are lying on them. But, nonetheless, it is tough for state employees and we deserve a break. I don’t expect a raise for another 4 years thanks to NoDeal and because of that state employees will be leaving, it will be harder to bring in “replacements” due to the low pay and substandard treatment. Remember NoDeal gave the people he brought in a substantial amount of money and they were family and friends. He had been tried or accused of some non-ethical stuff prior to election. YOU voted him so DEAL with it for the next four, no eight years because I know you will re-elect him. Be careful what you wish for or more importantly VOTE for and you just might NOT get it. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Chode McBlob

February 11th, 2011
11:04 am

I could use a nice raise. Although after being unemployed for 10 months last year and then finding my current job sure helped. But this job turned into a 14% raise over the last one. I could have a had a different job a lot sooner and that would have been a 12% pay cut. The difference between the two jobs is $18K/yr. Sure glad I held out. I’m at a better location too.

Parole Officer

February 11th, 2011
11:10 am

In 4 years of working for the state, I have received just enough in raises to move me to the next tax bracket, thus lowering my take home pay. With the increases in healthcare premiums, furlough days, etc., I make less then the first year I worked. In that time my caseload has gone from 68 convicted felons to almost 100. I generally work alone and must seek out people who may or may not be intoxicated, may or may not be involved in active criminal enterprise, and may or may not desire to kill me. In the past three months I have tracked down fugitives, drug tested people with multiple lethal disease, had feces thrown in my direction at a local jail, been involved in foot chases, dragged a drugged out meth-head from a crawl space, been attacked by a Doberman and thought I was going to have to shoot someone when they kept inching towards some kitchen knives while we were arresting his brother. My take home pay is approximately $500 per week.

I generally work about 55-60 hours per week, not including the midnight phone calls from mothers who are worried about their son or daughter overdosing. I may be out with my family when I run into someone I recently jailed. I don’t get paid overtime. If I work over, I get something known as “comp time” but I never get to use it. I have enough vacation time accrued to take off 6 months, but if I take off more then a single day, the accrued work will sink me. My work doesn’t go anywhere just because I am not in the office.

I make less then a starting detention officer at our local jail, but I had to have a Bachelor’s Degree just to apply. If I want to get promoted, I will have to have a Master’s Degree. My agency offers no financial incentives for Master’s Degrees.

I do this job because I love it. I can’t change everyone who comes to my office, I can’t save everyone on a downward spiral, and I can’t prevent every crime that a convicted felon will commit. But I can try. If I help at least one person stay off drugs, I will have succeeded. I have seen things which no one should have to see. I identified a man in a morgue because his family didn’t care about his existence any more.

As for the idiot who states that every state employee is a “tax,” you’re right. The entire purpose of government is to do what we can’t do individually or commercially. There are plenty of problems in government, trust me. But a large majority of government employees do what they do to the absoulte best of their abilities because someone has to.

Please remember this the next time a politician starts harping about “trimming state government.” They never cut the actual fluff, but they hamstring the people who are actually trying to serve you.

Parole Officer

JD

February 11th, 2011
11:28 am

Parole Officer – how did moving to the next tax bracket lower your pay? Only your additional income is taxed at the higher percentage. The income you were making before is still taxed at the lower bracket. So in theory you will never make less – it’s just that $1 extra you earn now you get less of than before.

Also – all you people complaining about working for the state – why not just leave then? There’s other alternatives – but after what you’ve experienced I doubt you’ll like it.

Be prepared for no cap on 40 hour week, working more days because you don’t get off every holiday imaginable, and no guarantee on raises either.

People should count their blessings before they spout off their problems. You still have a job.

Billy Ray Valentine

February 11th, 2011
11:33 am

Come to work with me, Randolph, and Mortimer @ Duke and Duke Industries.

Peachtree Corners

February 11th, 2011
11:41 am

If you have been working for 22 years, have a master’s degree, and your salary is less that $40K annually, my guess is that you don’t have a very responsible job. What have you been doing for those 22 years?

sam

February 11th, 2011
11:50 am

Wake Up. Democrats don’t care either. I am on medicare now, and can’t get a doctor to take me as a new patient. Medicare reimbursement is so low you can’t get into a doctor’s office if you are on it. So, I have to offer to pay cash for a visit. I can afford it, but can most of those so called middle class the dems are always saying they will help. No, they can just take hind teat.

Average Joe

February 11th, 2011
12:09 pm

I worked for the state of Georgia for about 2 years at the beginning of my career and I could not tolerate the caliber of people I had to work with. Most of those people were incompetent, lazy, corrupt, ghetto trash and thugs who lacked any type of marketable skills. That was almost 20 years ago. I see the problems that Atlanta, Clayton, and Dekalb face and I know that those same people are still around. It’s sad.

Concerned

February 11th, 2011
12:27 pm

Just for clarification to everyone who thinks state employees are a bunch of whiners. We all are grateful for our jobs, that is not the issue. The issue is that no one understands or seems to care how overworked and undervalued we are. Right now every agency is trying to do more with less.

On the teacher subject. Does everyone realize the high student to teacher ratio? On average there are 30 students to 1 teacher. Most students are not at the proper learning levels, add to that the students who troublemakers and the non parent involvement it makes the job difficult. Teachers have become more babysitters today. How many people have heard a parent say in the summer “I can’t until school starts”? Lets not even get into the fact that classrooms and students not don’t have the proper funding and tools. My sister who is a teacher makes a monthly trip to the dollar store to buy supplies with her own money. She even purchased a used computer for her classroom. The school provided 4 for a classroom of over 30 kids. You do the math. How can this help our next generation be prepared to compete in the job market and world.

State employees in general are happy with their jobs. We understand we are public servants and not everyone has the calling to serve. Most people took the trade off of not getting high pay, but we have good benefits. This is not true today. I have worked for the state for 10 years. When I first started we received a small cost of living raise of about 2% a year and our health and retirement benefits were good. Well we have not received a cost of living raise in 5 years. My health insurance premium for an HMO 10 years ago was $40 and a $10 copay, the cost now is $115 a month with a $40 copay. As a point of reference 10 years ago the average cost of gas a gallon was less than $1 and now it is over $3. Now can everyone see that we need a cost of living raise.

To the person who said we should be more concerned about taking care of unemployment than about state employees raises well, if the state employees were making a decent living and not working 2 jobs, then theorectically wouldn’t there be more jobs for the unemployed? I work in an office of over 40 people and I know of at least 12 that have another job, this is just my office. And these 2nd jobs are varied from computer programming to janitorial work.

Lastly for those of you that think we are paid well. I bring you to last week where the state lost a HERO Officer, Spencer Pass in the line of duty. Do you realize this man gave up his life, for a salary of less than $30,000 a year. If you don’t believe me here is the link to state employee salary http://www.open.georgia.gov/sta/viewMain.aud . If that link doesn’t work just look up the Ga Department of Audits, you can look up any employee’s salary, it all public knowledge.
Just my thoughts.

bob

February 11th, 2011
12:29 pm

You people are crying that you’re not getting raises, well be glad you have a job that provides for your family, you ba$tards.

N

February 11th, 2011
12:42 pm

Wow, lots of resentful state workers. Why is it that they think they are the only ones that have not received pay raises the past few years. Times are tough. They will get better.

David

February 11th, 2011
12:44 pm

I am a tax payer in the state. I am not a state employee. Forget your pay raise, I think you all need to take a pay cut. See here’s how it works in the real world. Your company is running in the red. They will either cut staff, or reduce pay. Your company is in the black, they tend to hire more, or give pay raises to keep people happy. The State is running in the RED. Time to cut :)