The average salary increase for 2011 was 2.8%. So if you earn $40,000 (the average income in the U.S.), that’s a raise of $1,120.
But you’re not average, of course, so what do you get? Top performers had a barely different median increase: 3.1%.
I mention this here largely because I think most people have no idea what kind of raise is reasonable to expect or ask for … and it’s useful to know the average raise is pretty low. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get significantly more if you’re hugely valuable to your employer; you often can. But it’s good to know these numbers for context.