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Average 2012 pay raise 3%, more for top workers: study

Updated: July 28, 2011 2:13AM

Pay raises next year will average 3 percent, but top performers can expect more, according to a survey released by human resources consulting company Mercer Wednesday.

The average 3 percent increase for all workers will be up from 2.9 percent in 2011 and from 2.7 percent in 2010.

Half of employers planning the bigger increase next year say greater competition for workers and anticipated labor shortages are the main reasons they’re bumping up pay more.

Mercer found employers are concentrating rewards on key top employees as they worry about retention. Top performers got average base pay increases of 4.4 percent this year, compared to 2.8 percent for average performers, Mercer found.

“The continuing fragile economy has caused employers to remain worried about increasing compensation,” Catherine Hartmann, principal with Mercer’s Rewards consulting business, said in a statement. “However, they are more worried about losing their best employees to their competitors. Differentiating salary increases based on performance has become a necessity with limited resources.”

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