The average director in a top United States financial corporation got a 16 percent pay jump to $19,800 last year. But the pay increase for directors of manufacturing companies was 9 percent to $24,000, according to an annual study by the Conference Board. The median figure for nonfinancial service firms stayed basically unchanged, at $17,600.

The study, covering 909 companies in 47 industries, showed 42 percent of the companies boosting pay for outside directors in 1988.

Jeremy Bacon of the board sees ``competitive pressure pushing director compensation higher.'' But he also notes that directors ``are putting in longer hours than ever before and making tough calls.''

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