A Wall Street Journal survey of 51 economists forecasts the economy will grow 3.5% in 2011. The same survey expects unemployment to shrink to 8.6%, and the risk of a double-dip recession is cut almost in half to 112%.
The Society for Human Resources Management thinks wage increases could be as much as 3%.
Over the last two years, productivity has risen at an annual rate of 4%, and corporate profits at 30%. Wage gains were held to 1.7%. These surveys are the first sign of the recovery "trickling down" to workers.
The surveys were careful to note that the expected rates are averages over the entire economy. The construction industry remains in bad shape and wage increases will be less. Manufacturing has been boosted by increased exports, and should see greater increases.