BUSINESS

Salary increases in 2014 likely, but not by much

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Employers nationwide are expected to be more generous when considering pay raises in 2014, but you might not see the amount of extra money in your paycheck as you would have liked.

According to a survey by the financial firm Mercer, employers anticipate raising salaries by an average of about 2.9 percent in 2014. It's only a little bit more than the 2.8 percent most salaries have gone up this year.

However, its more than half a percentage point lower than typical salary increases in the mid 2000s. Part of the reason for the slowdown, analysts say, is because the national unemployment rate is still fairly high.

Nearly 12 million Americans are still out of work, placing the unemployment rate at 7.6 percent. Analysts say that gives an upper hand to hiring managers and companies who can more easily recruit and retain employees without raising salaries.

Many companies also have less available cash-on-hand to increase salaries due to the rising costs of health care and retirement funding.

The Mercer survey says that so-called "spot cash," including signing bonuses and milestone incentives, are becoming increasingly popular in lieu or raises.

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