Even in a a gloomy year for businesses, employees may find a little cheer in their in-boxes this holiday season.
Nearly two in three human resources executives surveyed by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas say their employers will pass out holiday bonus checks this year, compared with 54 percent in 2008.
Some of the 100 executives surveyed – 8 percent – said they would cut larger checks than in the past.
The bonuses may be both a sign that a recovery may be close at hand and acknowledgment of employees who braved a difficult year, said Challenger CEO John Challenger.
"Companies are not quite ready to ramp up hiring, but they are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Challenger said in his daily blog posting Dec. 10 on challengeratworkblog. blogspot.com/.
"Companies are also sending a message that we appreciate that this has been a tough year for everyone," he said.
But tough economic times have taken a toll on many businesses as well, the survey showed, with 16 percent saying they would not offer bonuses this year when they had last year. That's a three percentage point increase from 2008.
And 4 percent of companies said they would offer smaller bonuses than last year, unchanged from the 2008 survey.
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