Aon Hewitt is seeing signs that U.S. company compensation budgets may be starting to recover from the effects of the recent economic crisis.

Aon Hewitt, a unit of Aon Corp., Chicago (NYSE:AON), discusses those signs in a 2011 Compensationsummary of results from a recent survey of about 500 employers.

The firm found that the participating companies expect to increase salaries for salaried workers an average of about 2.8%, and that the average increases expected for other categories of workers range from 2.7% to 2.8%.

The average expected increase is up from 2.4% in 2010, and up from 1.8% in 2009.

No organization said it expects to cut pay in 2011, and just 11% said they expect to freeze salaries for salaried exempt and non-exempt workers, the firm says.

A year ago, 12% of the participating employers said they expected to freeze salaries.

- Allison Bell