The majority of the nation's employees are not expected to receive higher raises and bonuses in 2006 than they did in 2005, a new survey from Robert Half International Inc. says.

Less than one-third of chief financial officers polled in the annual survey said that they will give bigger salary increases in the coming year, while just 20 percent anticipate boosting bonus amounts. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes the responses of more than 1,400 chief financial officers from a random sampling of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs who said that they expected to increase raises and bonuses in 2006 were asked by what percentage those forms of compensation would rise. The mean responses were 5 percent for raises and 7 percent for bonuses.

"Many companies may be hesitant to increase employee compensation because of other expenses impacting the business, such as rising health care and energy costs," said Robert Half chairman and chief executive Max Messmer, in a statement. "But an overly cautious approach can be detrimental, particularly as the competition for top candidates intensifies."

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