Thursday, December 10, 2009


Compensation Survey of Fortune 500 Companies Shows Cautious Increases in 2010 Salary Forecasts Amid Concerns About Retention and Motivation

NEW YORK, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey conducted in late October 2009 of 124 Fortune 500 and multi-national companies shows an improved position on U.S. salary increase forecasts as compared to this time last year. The outlook for bonuses for 2010 however is slightly more gloomy. "Companies expressed serious concerns in relation to their ability to retain, recruit, motivate and develop their employees given the constraints on costs and the absence of robust increases and incentives. These concerns exist despite the relatively high current unemployment rate," explained Vincent McHugh, Managing Director of Empsight International.
Key quantitative survey findings for 2010 forecasts include:
  • The Overall Average Salary Merit Increase forecasted for 2010 was 2.49% (when participants not planning any increase are excluded this number moves to 2.64%)
  • The Overall Average Salary Total Increase forecasted for 2010 was 2.78% (when participants not paying any increase are excluded this number moves to 2.96%)
  • The Pharmaceutical Industry reported the highest Total Increase forecast at 3.9%, while the lowest reported forecast was in the Insurance Industry at 2.4%
  • 92.0% of companies have either no Salary Freeze in effect for 2010 or are lifting one that was applied in 2009
  • 31.0% of participants (executives and management) expected to pay "Somewhat" or "Significantly Lower" bonuses in 2010 for 2009 performance. In contrast, 21% expected to pay executives "Somewhat Higher" bonuses (20% for management), while only 7% expected to pay "Significantly Higher" bonuses for executives (6% for management). 41% indicated that bonuses for executives would be "About the Same" in 2010 for 2009 performance (43% for management)
  • 72.0% of participants expected to pay "About the Same" on Long Term Incentive Awards in 2010 - though 22.0% of participants expect to award "Somewhat" or "Significantly Lower" awards at the Management & Other levels
  • 53.0% of participants anticipated "No Change" in Hiring levels in 2010. However those expecting headcount reductions (26.0%) exceeded those expecting headcount increases (21.0%)
  • 16.0% of participants expected to continue a Hiring Freeze in 2010 while 84.0% indicated an end to a freeze on Hiring
  • Participants from across the U.S. were from 18 Industry groups and 6 Revenue categories (67.2% of participants are above $5.0 Billion)
Survey responses from the 124 participating companies capture their current actions and perceptions as they finalize their compensation and staffing budgets for 2010, a process that is typically well advanced or even finalized by the month of November in most years.
The survey was conducted between October 15 - October 23, 2009 by Empsight International, LLC a compensation survey and consulting firm focused on Fortune 500 and large multi-national companies.
Full survey results available for download at
Note to media:
Vincent McHugh (203-550-7001), and Jeremy (212-683-7745), Managing Directors of Empsight International, are available for interviews.
About Empsight:
Empsight International, LLC is a human resource consulting firm which helps employers make better decisions about their investment in people. Our primary focus is on conducting compensation surveys in niche markets (Law, Government Relations, Corporate Communications, Compliance, Audit, Risk, & Security, and Sales), domestically and internationally. Our surveys are seen as definitive data reference sources in markets where such information is critical to maintaining competitiveness. Our clients are, predominantly, leading multinational corporations. Our Principals and staff have significant experience in consulting on compensation, organizational and human resource issues across multiple industry sectors.
For information about Empsight please visit

1 comment:

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