More employers are, now that business has started to rebound. A survey by the HR consulting firm Towers Watson found that companies are optimistic and budgeting for merit increases of 3% this year. That’s up from 2.7% in 2010.
Merit raises are expected to approach 2008 levels, when pay hikes typically ran 3.5% to 4%. Hiring freezes have begun to thaw, too, especially among companies that need to add professional and technical workers.