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Best Cities to Earn More

Best Cities to Earn More

Dona DeZube | Monster Finance Careers Expert

Raises Ahead for Workers in These Cities

While the BLS and MetroMonitor look at the past, one forward-looking survey from the WorldatWork human resources professional association predicts employers will still hand out raises to lots of employees in 2009.

Its survey of about 2,600 HR professionals at companies employing about 16 million people ranked the 25 largest metro areas based on planned salary increases for employees with average performance ratings.

WorldatWork says at least 75 percent of companies in these cities planned to give raises ranging from 2.1 percent to 2.3 percent this year (listed from highest raise percentage to lowest):

Washington, DC
New York

In spite of falling payroll budgets, the survey shows employers are committed to awarding raises to about eight in every 10 of those employed in the top 10 cities.

“This may come as a surprise to many, given that one in three survey respondents indicated they are planning zero percent salary budget increases this year,” says Alison Avalos, research manager for WorldatWork. “Layoffs, hiring freezes, shifting pay-increase dollars from executives to staff and other cost-saving actions may be allowing employers to continue planning for at least some pay increases for remaining employees, especially top performers.”

Those cities include Houston (3.4 percent), Minneapolis/St. Paul (3 percent), Washington, DC (3 percent) and Des Moines (2.9 percent). The cities projected to have the lowest increases in 2010 are Detroit (2.1 percent), Los Angeles (2.2 percent) and San Francisco (2.4 percent).

“Regional salary increase trends are largely driven by factors including economic conditions, demographics and market issues, so it’s not surprising to see lower-than-average salary increases in…cities with high unemployment levels or that have been significantly impacted by the economy,” says Ken Abosch, leader of Hewitt’s North American Broad-Based Compensation Consulting business.