Wage and hiring freezes are starting to thaw at U.S. companies that implemented the freezes during the recession, according to a Watson Wyatt survey.

The Washington-based human resources consulting firm reported 54 percent of employers that froze salaries plan to unfreeze them within the next 6 months, up sharply from 33 percent in August and just 17 percent in June. At companies that implemented hiring freezes, 49 percent expect to at least partially reverse them in the next 6 months.

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