Survey Says . . .

Posted on November 3, 2009

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The results of two surveys released last week – one conducted by Watson Wyatt, the other by Grant Thornton – present contrasting views of where the economy is headed in the near term, at least as viewed from the lens of compensation and benefits.

The Wyatt survey is the more bullish of the pair. According to their research:

  • 54 percent of employers that froze salaries plan to reverse those salary freezes within the next six months
  • 49 percent plan to reverse hiring freezes
  • 35 percent plan to reverse 401(k) employer matching reductions

Two recent surveys present contrasting views of near-term economic prospects.The Grant Thornton survey – which, unlike the Wyatt survey, was limited to the financial services industry – paints a less rosy picture:

  • 26 percent of those surveyed said their company will increase hiring over the next six months
  • 49 percent plan to reduce bonuses
  • 27 percent are reducing health care benefits
  • 31 percent plan to reduce 401(k) matches

I think the takeaway from looking at the two surveys together is the economy is improving, though it is doing so slowly and unevenly. As a result, there is still a great deal of caution among business leaders, especially in industries closer to the center of the meltdown.