Workers hoping for a pay raise may have to settle for another year of belt-tightening.
A new survey of 1,500 U.S. companies from consulting firm Mercer found that employers expect to increase worker salaries by an average 2.9 percent in 2014, up just slightly from 2.8 percent raises this year.
That's a continued increase from recent years, although short of the bigger raises Americans might have seen before the recession, said Catherine Hartmann, a principal at Mercer.
Part of the slow recovery: a still-high unemployment rate. "With few exceptions, the job market is still very much a buyer's market and that puts downward pressure on pay raises," said Steve Tobak, managing partner at Invisor Consulting in California. Higher costs of companies' health-care benefits have reduced funds available for raises, he said.
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