Many companies are returning to the past practice of giving annual merit pay increases. A recent USA Today survey indicated that the average raise in 2014 is 3%. Top performers receive an average increase of 4.5% and even underperforming employees may receive as much as 1.3%. Some employees above the pay range for their positions are also receiving minimal increases. A recent newspaper article written by the Associated Press stated that the best raises are going to workers with specialized skills in a few industries, primarily energy, transportation, health care and technology. It’s indeed an encouraging indicator to see the return to annual pay increases by many companies.