As the economic recovery warms up, frozen salaries are thawing out. That’s the conclusion of a new survey released by compensation consultants Culpepper & Associates.

The survey of 933 organizations shows that few employers – just 4% – plan to keep salaries frozen in 2011. That’s down from a significant 14% in 2010. A minuscule number – 0.2% – plan to cut salaries this coming year.

In the U.S., the average raise in base salary is expected to increase to 2.91% in 2011 from 2.38% in 2010.

Two sectors are expected to lead the way, Culpepper said, with average increases of more than 3%: alternative and renewable energy, and IT/e-Business (online content and services).

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