MONEY

Where the raises are

Maybe you’re just glad you’ve got a job. But if you’re wondering about the chances you’ll get a raise this year too, a new survey out Tuesday may shed some light.

WorldatWork, an association of HR executives, published its first-ever list of the top metro areas for getting a raise in 2009. The survey ranked metro areas on both the size of raises (which are pretty meager across the board) and the percentage of employers giving raises. It also considered the percentage of employees being awarded raises in 2009. The Washington, DC metro area came in number one, with an average raise of 2.3% and 77% of area employers giving raises. The raises are based on the average pay increase for middle performers, so if you’re a top performer, you may be able to negotiate a bigger bump up if you’re feeling bold enough to ask.

This map shows that, like jobs, the robustness of raises can be local too. While the overall unemployment rate is 9.7%, there are 216 metro areas where the local jobless rate is lower and nine metro areas where the unemployment rate is below 5%, giving local workers there more leverage when it comes to wages. Of course, whether you get a raise also depends on what kind of work you do and what industry you’re in, as well as your performance. But knowing what most employers are planning in your area may bolster your case for an increase in your pay this year.

The pay increase survey was part of WorldatWork’s mid-year update of its annual salary budget projections, with more than 2600 respondents representing 16 million U.S. employees. What’s happening at your company? Do you think you’ll get a raise this year? If so, how much are you expecting? Let us know. And look for the next read on the jobless picture this Friday, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports July unemployment numbers.

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