Despite skyrocketing construction unemployment, most companies are trying to hold steady on compensation to retain existing talent and stay competitive during the recession. Although many firms are trying to keep raises in line with cost-of-living increases, others are freezing salaries. Nearly 20% of respondents to a survey conducted by construction-compensation consulting firm PAS Inc. say they would not increase salaries this year, but only 1% say they would reduce them.
For 2009, anticipated salary increases ebbed to 3.58% among companies that plan to give raises, reports Saline, Mich.-based PAS. After seeing increases head above 4% between 2006 and 2008, current rates have settled close to the 2003 level of 3.69%. The drop in rates is being felt nationwide, as the survey shows every region reporting decreases of 0.4% or more from last year. “Six months ago, we saw some regions that were immune,” says Jeff Robinson, president of PAS. “Now everyone is feeling the impact.”