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Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466,;
Wendy LoCicero, ASE, 248.223.8006,

Livonia, Mich. —Oct. 19, 2015 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, released its ASE 2015/2016 Salary Budget Survey today with some surprising findings. Despite recent economic growth and a steady decline in unemployment, Michigan employers continue to budget modestly for future pay raises for their employees.

3 key findings in the ASE 2015/2016 Salary Budget Survey:
• Most employees will see just a 3 percent increase in pay in 2016.
• Wage freezes continue to decline. Just 4% of employers surveyed anticipate a wage or salary freeze in 2016.
• Employers continue to rely on variable pay programs to reward performance. The average expected annual bonus payout, as a percent of salary, in 2016 increased to 5.0% for Nonexempt Hourly Nonunion employees, 5.9% for Nonexempt Salaried employees and 10.5% for Exempt Salaried employees.
The survey findings were announced by ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado.

“Most economists believe that a 5.0% unemployment rate means that we have reached full employment, which should in turn put upward pressure on salary levels. And yet employers continue to hold their merit budgets to around 3%. This suggests that token merit adjustments with substantial variable rewards, like incentive compensation, may be the new normal,” Corrado said.

ASE Salary Budget Survey Findings 2015-2016_GRAPH

Background information on the ASE 2015/2016 Salary and Budget Survey
• 247 organizations from across Michigan participated.
• Organizations with 1 to 500 Michigan employees made up nearly 80% of the survey sample, while organizations with 501 to 5,000 Michigan employers represented 17.5% of the sample. The remaining 2.5% of the sample comes from organizations with more than 5,000 Michigan employees.
• A variety of industries are represented, with manufacturing organizations representing 60% of the survey sample. The remaining 40% is represented by trades and services organizations.

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2015/2016 Salary Budget Survey, contact ASE’s Compensation and Benefits Surveys department at or 248.353.4500. This survey is available free of charge to ASE members, and for $525 to non-members.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at