Despite all of the layoffs, U.S. salary budgets at large and midsize employers may be higher this year than they were in 2008.

WorldatWork, Washington, a compensation and benefits group, says the 2,600 compensation and benefits professionals who participated in its latest salary budget survey report salary budgets are up 2.2% this year and could increase 2.8% in 2010.

The participants work at employers with a total of about 16 million U.S. employees.