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In yet another sign that the U.S. economy is improving, your employees can likely look forward to a slightly better raise in 2015 than this year or last. So reports Benefitspro and SHRM.

Though there is some variation among major cities across the U.S. (see the graphic in this SHRM article), average base pay is projected to go up by 3.1% next year. That's an increase over the 3% and 2.9% figures for 2014 and 2013, respectively, based on an annual salary budget survey recently released by research organization World at Work and findings of management consulting firm the Hay Group.

Even though the increases are small, they're trending in the right direction – as are sign-on and retention bonuses, which may point to a jump in hiring next year as well. But better caution your workforce that many firms and managers continue to link salary increases to performance-related metrics.

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