2 Reasons You Might Get a Raise This Year (and One Reason Why Not)

Trying to figure out if you're going to get a pay increase this year? Before you resort to consulting your Magic 8 Ball, consider the following factors.

1. Wage Freezes Are (Mostly) Over 

Tom Hellier, a compensation consultant with Towers Watson, tells TheSpec.com that employers are cautiously starting to give raises again. This doesn't mean that the gold rush days are here again: Hellier says that his firm projects raises of 2.8 to 3.2 percent for 2013. Still, that's better than the "none percent" and "you're laid off" raises we've been getting.

2. Hot Markets = Hot Wages

If you're working in a field with more jobs than skilled applicants, you might be in luck. Hellier says that some oil and gas companies in Western Canada, for example, are giving engineers steep pay increases, spending up 50 percent more on raises than other employers. Of course, that's not much help to you if you're not in oil or gas. But! Check out the PayScale Index to learn more about other industries that are growing. 

One Reason You Might Not Get a Raise:

No matter which field you're in, the total pool for raises will mean less to you than it might have in years previously. That's because more companies are offering higher merit increases for top performers, and scuttling the old system of giving straight increases across the board. The hope is that this will reward top talent and give workers an incentive to perform better.

Bad news if you're still getting the hang of your job, but great news if you're one of those top performers.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! Do you think you're getting a raise this year? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

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