3 Percent Salary Increase 'New Normal'

How much higher can those fortunate enough to have a job expect their salaries to rise in the next year? The answer is 3 percent, according to a study by the consulting firm, Hay Group.

According to the consulting firm's research, executives, middle management, supervisory and clerical positions will see a median 3 percent pay increase in 2013, based on data collected between May and June this year from 350 organizations.

The study found the vast majority of organizations, at least 80 percent, reported an average increase of between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent salary.

The oil and gas and luxury retail sectors reported the highest median increases at 3.3 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

"Historically many employees saw annual salary budget increases greater than 3 percent, with a drastic dip or freeze during the "great recession," and now we have settled into what may be a new normal of 3 percent," said Jeff Blair, Hay Group's U.S. Productized Services Leader.

In 2000, salaries increased a median of 4.4 percent, followed by an uneven decline in the increases, according to the Hay Group.

Blair said this is not a "sustainable strategy, especially for hot jobs or hard-to-fill positions."

Employers will have to be committed to creating a positive work climate among other ways to keep employers and stay productive, he said.

Wages and salaries increased 1.7 percent for the current 12-month period ending in March 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to 1.6 percent for March 2011.