Maybe you can take that extra vacation after all. Salaries are on the rise, and the money being allocated to bonus pools will hit record levels this year, according to a survey from human resources firm Aon Hewitt. The survey of 1,064 companies found, on average, salaries will rise 2.9 percent this year, and 3 percent in 2015. Next year's increase will be the biggest since 2008. The biggest surprise, according to Ken Abosch, compensation practice leader at Aon Hewitt, is how much companies are putting into bonus pools. This year and next, the 91 percent of participating companies that hand out bonuses will put 12.7 percent of their payroll funds toward these payouts, the largest amount since the survey began 38 years ago.
How big a boost workers get depends on where they live. In Denver and Houston, expect the biggest salary increases of 3.5 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, thanks to growth in the energy industry. A steady supply of available workers will keep salary increases in New York, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, under the average at 2.8 percent.