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Who's Getting the Biggest Raises in 2012? Not Health Care Workers

Who's Getting the Biggest Raises in 2012? Not Health Care Workers Credit: Dreamstime.com

Employees in the oil and gas sectors will cash in the largest salary increases this year, with nurses and clinical workers collecting the smallest raises, a new study shows.

While the average U.S. worker will see a 3 percent base-salary increase, new research from the Hay Group consulting firm found that employees in the oil and gas sectors are faring better, with 4-percent-median increases planned for 2012.

On the other end of the spectrum, certain job families in healthcare systems, such as nursing and clinical employees, are projected for increases of just 2.5 percent.

The average increase of 3 percent is consistent for executives, middle management, supervisory and clerical positions in most industry sectors, including industrial, retail  and financial services.

"Even though the economy continues to show signs of a slow recovery, we do not expect most employees to receive increases at the levels seen in the years prior to 2008 for awhile, when median increases were tracking between 3.5 and 4 percent," said Tom McMullen, Hay Group's North American reward practice leader.

Slower growth in base salary increases is causing most organizations to be innovative in their approach to reward management, according to McMullen.

"We see most organizations having a continued focus on managing their fixed costs in base salary and benefits programs while placing renewed attention on retention and engagement strategies for the talent needed to run their business," he said.  "Organizations are quite happy to pay for performance, but only if they get it."

This is Hay Group's 33rd year of conducting the research, which is based on surveys of nearly 300 U.S. businesses.

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who spent 10 years working as a newspaper reporter before working in public relations. You can reach him at chadgbrooks@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.