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Receive a pay cut? Get it back

As companies got slammed by the recession last year, many workers dodged large-scale layoffs only to be hit by mandatory salary reductions. Now that a halting recovery is underway, you may be wondering if you can ask to have your original salary reinstated.

world Updated: Jul 13, 2010 12:56 IST

As companies got slammed by the recession last year, many workers dodged large-scale layoffs only to be hit by mandatory salary reductions. Now that a halting recovery is underway, you may be wondering if you can ask to have your original salary reinstated.

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The answer isn't simple. It depends on several factors, including the state of your industry, company and whether you've been a model employee throughout the recession. And even if all those factors are in your favor, asking for more money during what are still tough economic times could be a bad move.

Before meeting with your manager, consider the state of your industry. Is there clear evidence of a recovery? Have layoffs stopped and are firms hiring? Even if the answer is yes, just because the industry as a whole shows improvement doesn't mean your company is healthy.

Take banking, for instance. While some of the biggest banks, like Goldman Sachs ( GS - news - people ) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM - news - people ), have posted healthy profits over the last year, many if not most smaller ones are still struggling. It might be easy to ask for more money at Goldman, but very difficult at a regional or local bank.