Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

5.5% Average Base Salary Hikes Reported in 1990, Expected for '91

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

5.5% Average Base Salary Hikes Reported in 1990, Expected for '91

Article excerpt

CHICAGO (AP) - Executives, salaried and non-union hourly workers received average base salary increases of 5.5 percent this year and can expect about the same in 1991, a survey of nearly 1,500 U.S. employers showed Thursday.

Next year's figure is expected to decline by one-tenth of 1 percent to a level far from the 10 percent average pay raise for the same groups in 1981, said the study by Hewitt Associates, a compensation consulting firm.

``Back then,'' said Hewitt consultant Frank Belmonte, ``we were coming back from a series of major economic setbacks, including the Arab oil embargo, and employers felt the need to provide increases.''

The inflation rate was 13 percent in 1980 compared with 4.8 percent in 1989, Belmonte said Thursday.

And although the United States is embroiled in another oil crisis, the suburban Chicago-based company believes the figures supplied by employers earlier this year will hold up.

``We don't think companies will readjust their salary increases,'' said Hewitt spokeswoman Jean Campbell. ``They don't want to tie the salary budgets to the cost-of-living.''

Edward Lazear, a professor at the University of Chicago Business School, said the study's results were not surprising. ``The survey makes sense, the figures make sense and the results are not alarming.''

He said the figures were consistent with the inflation rate.

The increases for 1990, Hewitt said, break down to 5.9 percent for executives, 5.5 percent for salaried employees exempt from federal overtime laws and 5.3 percent for those not exempt from such measures.

Hourly non-union employees, meanwhile, got raises of 4. …

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