Stagnant salaries: Are you working for less money or does it just seem that way?

The news on the job market has been bleak for the last few years. Layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs have been a reality for many American workers. Some people who lost jobs and managed to find new ones are working for less money. Many employers have frozen salaries for the last couple of years.

According to the Mercer 2009/2010 U.S. Compensation Planning Survey Update, the average pay raise was 3.2 percent in 2009 and is projected to be only 2.7 percent in 2010. And those figures are only for workers who actually got or will get raises.

Have you gone several years without a pay raise? Or even worse, has your pay been cut? What has it done for morale at your workplace? Does it make you less motivated, or are you just happy to have a job? Has seeing the rapid increase of certain executive salaries in this economy made you angry? Tell us about it.

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2 comments Add your comment

S. Melinda

April 7th, 2010
9:55 pm

Yes I am working for less money than I ever have in my 30 years of working in corporate and have used all my savings to supplement. The last 2.5 years I have not received an increase, but my medical insurance has steadily increased so today I take home even less money. Although I still do my best in the workplace, the joy is gone as I see senior management continue to promote and hire in their ranks majority of the time. Now I am constantly thinking of a way out, and have considered relocating in the next 12 months when my children complete high school.


May 9th, 2010
1:36 pm

Much is made these days about the state of our economy and unemployment – many of us make a deal with the devil to gain employment.

In January I took a part-time job with a company to make $1,100 a month for 80 hours per month of work.

What I did not realize at the time was that when you are 1099′d at the end of the year you basically pay both sides of the tax liability – the employer – you are self-employed and the employee because that’s you.

After the break down the pay totals approximately $6.88 per hour less than minimum wage for administrative duties. No benefits.

In my case, part of my job was to cook this individuals books. She bought a beautiful brand new home, fully furnished it in excellent taste, bought fabulous clothes and held lavish parties.

All of which she expected me to “hide” in the business to lower her tax liability. $73,000 down payment and all the expenses of the home including the monthly paymnet. Not to mention the thousands per month the other “expenses” totaled.

What I had to do aside, it is my belief based on many of the ads I’ve seen and interviews I’ve been on, this is a practice running deep into our economy.

I saw a job ad this morning 55 hours per week for $450.00 per week – no taxes no benefits.

The worst part about it is – someone will actually take that job. And, many many others are already working this way.

On top of that is the tax liability at the end of the year will add tax fraud to otherwise honest individuals list of economic maladys.

What is going to happen when the unemployment extensions run out.

Employers will take more advantage of people who want to keep a roof over their head.

Since none of this is “reported” we have several other issues including:

Individuals on unemployment who might be working fully under the table.
Individuals who go to file for unemployment if/when the job ends, when paid under the table.
Individuals taking advantage of food stamps, health care and other government provided programs because perhaps they will not be 1099′d at the end of the year.

I like to believe that most people who have experienced a lay off and are having a hard time finding a job are trying to keep a roof over their heads.

Employers have realized this and know the extremes some of us might go to in our endeavor to do so.

Employers need to take responsibilty for this practice and stop ruining our already bad economic structure – this will ultimately lead to increased problems to get over and around as times move struggle to move forward.