ECONOMIC – Wages may increase 2.5% through 2011; Inflation holding steady.

(MarketWatch) — After two years of holding back on salary raises, U.S. employers say they plan bigger increases of workers' wages in 2011 — but those plans could change if the economy continues to falter.

Companies said they expect salary hikes in 2011 for executives and salaried employees to average 2.9%, and 2.8% for hourly union and non-union workers, up from about 2.4% for all workers in 2010 and a measly 1.8% in 2009, according to a Hewitt Associates survey of more than 1,450 large companies published Monday.

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