CONFIDENCE among employers has improved to the point where four out of 10 of them expect to award salary increases next year, a new survey indicates.
The survey by Mercer consulting of 116 companies covering a range of sectors, shows that another third of employers are planning salary increases for some staff, while up to 22pc of them predict a salary freeze next year.
However, only 1pc of the employers plan to reduce salaries in 2011.
The survey contains mainly larger Irish organisations and multinational subsidiaries based here.
Few Irish companies are forecasting an increase , while a higher proportion of multinational subsidiaries are projecting increases across the board (56pc).
This may be due to improving sentiment in a number of international economies.
Meanwhile, half of the companies reported a decrease in total staff between 2009 and 2010.
Another 27pc of the organisations plan to reduce employee numbers in 2011.
This contrasts with 40pc who plan some increase in staff numbers in 2011, and 33pc who plan to keep numbers static.
Patrick Robertson of Mercer Consulting said: "While there is still a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace, we believe that sentiment has improved among employers.
"Many have taken action to manage remuneration costs and head count within their organisation and they are now more confident about 2011 and beyond."