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CREATIVE COMPENSATION ON THE RISE, MINNESOTA SALARY SURVEY FINDS

 CREATIVE COMPENSATION ON THE RISE, MINNESOTA SALARY SURVEY FINDS
 MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- In a recessionary economic environment, many Minnesota employers are turning to creative ways to compensate employees, according to the annual salary survey conducted by the Twin Cities office of William M. Mercer Incorporated.
 Forty percent of employers surveyed are using incentive bonuses for employees who reach predetermined goals; 40 percent use discretionary bonuses, often in lump sums at the end of the fiscal year; 33 percent use small rewards for special projects; and 20 percent use gain-sharing (a reward for greater productivity).
 Banking, finance and insurance companies and those engaged in manufacturing are using non-traditional compensation most frequently, according to results of the Mercer survey, called NEXCOMP.
 The survey also found that salaries in 1993 for non-exempt employees are expected to increase 4.9 percent on average, compared with the 1992 actual average increase of 5 percent.
 Salaries for exempt employees in 1993 also are forecast to increase 4.9 percent on average, compared with an actual average of 5.1 percent in 1992.
 "Employers may be using non-traditional compensation to continue to motivate outstanding performers," said Renee Lassonde, a Mercer compensation consultant. "Employers may feel that a one or two percentage point difference in salary increase may be inadequate to differentiate between acceptable and outstanding employee performance."
 NEXCOMP includes data from 73 Minnesota employers covering about 17,300 workers. The survey includes a representative cross-section of industries, jobs and large and small employers.
 Non-exempt employees are required by law to be paid overtime. They have jobs such as receptionist, machinist and security guard. Exempt employees are not required to be paid overtime and have jobs such as manager, purchasing agent and accountant.
 This is the second annual NEXCOMP Survey. Results provide employers with extensive data about compensation on 85 benchmark job titles. Mercer has invested heavily in technology that allows the NEXCOMP data to be broken into segments to allow personnel specialists to analyze their specific competitive salary markets.
 Survey data was collected in detailed, mailed questionnaires. Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted to verify the data. Data was supplied by personnel specialists in each participating company.
 William M. Mercer Incorporated is the world's largest employee benefits and compensation consulting firm. The firm has 3,900 employees throughout offices in 46 U.S. cities and 6,800 employees worldwide. The Twin Cities office of William M. Mercer Incorporated is at 1800 Piper Jaffray Tower, 222 South Ninth Street, Minneapolis.
 NOTE: NEXCOMP Survey data provides details on actual pay rates for specific jobs. Following are average pay rates for three separate jobs.
 Receptionist/telephone operator: (Non-exempt) Average minimum pay $14,855; actual average pay $17,535; average maximum pay $21,138.
 Security Guard (without weapon): (Non-exempt) Average minimum pay $13,780; average actual pay $17,684; average maximum pay $20,727.
 Machinist: (Non-exempt) Average minimum pay $23,783; average actual pay $29,418; average maximum pay $31,088.
 -0- 9/2/92
 /CONTACT: Renee Lassonde of William M. Mercer, 612-338-5440; or Dave Kuhn of Mona, Meyer, McGrath & Gavin, 612-832-5000, for William M. Mercer/ CO: William M. Mercer Incorporated ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


DS -- MN003 -- 5825 09/02/92 10:20 EDT
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Date:Sep 2, 1992
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