The pace of job losses has been slowing since the spring, a sign that a rebound for the job market may be underway. We’ll get another read on the state of the jobs market Friday when the Department of Labor releases its latest unemployment report. The report is expected to show that U.S. employers cut about 230,000 jobs in August, the smallest decline in a year, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
But even as job losses abate, the prospects for people who are still employed and hoping to get a decent raise remains dim. According to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday, the median pay raise for salaried workers this year is 2.5%, down from the original 3.5% employers forecast before the recession hit and 2.7% in 2008. In 2010, budgets for salary increases are expected to increase by just 3%, the smallest projected rise in 25 years. The Conference Board expects inflation to increase by 2% in 2010, leaving workers with an effective 1% bump in pay next year.
It’s no wonder that two-thirds of American workers say they are unhappy with their compensation, blaming pay cuts, lack of bonuses or stagnant salaries, according to the latest Adecco USA Workplace Insights survey coming out Wednesday.
You probably feel like griping too, but this isn’t the time to be a sour puss at work. With such small budgets for pay raises, companies are scrambling to figure out how to divvy up dwindling compensation dollars. Your boss is likely using her scarce salary resources to prevent high performing employees from becoming disengaged or leaving as soon as a better opportunity opens up. How you can you be a standout performer when times are still tough? Here’s an article I did earlier this year on that subject and one from the Wall Street Journal on how to get a raise at work during difficult times.
Have you gotten a raise this year? Do you expect to get one next year? Does the prospect getting no raise or a small one affect your performance at work?
- Donna Rosato