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June 15, 2015

New and Improved Data and Statistics

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: , , , 5:52 am


The Department of Labor has enhanced its Data & Stats portion of its website by adding a new “Earnings” section. This section features a series of charts and graphs showing the most recent annual earnings averages by selected topics and demographic characteristics. Covered areas include Educational Attainment, Age and Occupations.

Highlights include:

  • Women with an advanced degree earn less than men with bachelor’s degrees.
  • Women with an associate’s degree or some college earn less than male high school graduates.
  • The gender wage gap is greatest between men and women with advanced degrees.
  • Men’s earnings increase with age until 55-64 years of age, while women’s earnings reach their peak at 35-44, and then remain stagnant until dropping for those age 65 and older.
  • Almost 4 in 5 occupations had a wage gap of at least 10%.

They have also updated their “Latest Annual Data” section with the 2014 numbers released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This data includes labor force participation rates, unemployment rates, employment by industry, and educational attainment.

Check it out and let us know what you think!


December 23, 2010

HR Fact Friday: 2011 Compensation Budgets Stabilizing

Filed under: Compensation,Salaries & Pay — Tags: , , , , 6:00 am

U.S. employers’ compensation budgets are likely to remain intact for 2011, and few companies expect to have to take drastic actions such as pay freezes to reduce costs, a November 2010 survey from consultancy Aon Hewitt reveals.

Aon Hewitt’s survey of more than 500 employers found that:

  • Three-quarters of U.S. companies expect to reach or exceed business performance goals by year-end 2010, leading to the stabilization of pay and variable pay budgets in 2011. Most companies (56 percent) made no revisions to their original base salary increase budgets in the latter half of 2010.
  • In 2011, salary increases for salaried exempt workers are expected to be 2.8 percent. This is up from 2.4 percent in 2010 and significantly higher than the record-low pay raises workers saw in 2009 (1.8 percent).
  • Sub-3 percent increases represent the new ‘normal’ in base-pay spending.

In addition, spending on variable pay—performance-based awards that must be re-earned each year—is holding steady. Updated findings show that 2011 spending on variable pay as a percentage of payroll will be 11.6 percent for salaried exempt workers, down slightly from original projections of 11.8 percent.

Lastly, Aon Hewitt’s survey shows that none of the respondents planned to cut pay in 2011, and just 11 percent planned to freeze salaries for salaried exempt and nonexempt workers in 2011, which is similar to 2010, when 12 percent of organizations froze salaries.

 Source: SHRM, Stephen Miller 


June 4, 2010

HR Fact Friday: Pay Incentives to Limit Post-Recession Flight

Many U.S. employers are planning to use compensation incentives to limit “post-recessionary employee flight,” according to a survey of HR decision-makers by Workscape, a provider of employee performance, compensation and benefits administration services, conducted at the end of March 2010. According to the survey report, Managing Employees and Total Rewards during the Economic Upswing, 65 percent of respondents are considering or strongly considering pay increases to drive retention as the economy recovers, while only 46 percent will consider benefits increases.

Looking back, only 10 percent of organizations cut employees’ pay as the recession entered its third year in 2009, but 39 percent froze compensation, respondents indicated. The vast majority of those that awarded increases held them to 3 percent or less, and only 2 percent of respondent organizations increased average compensation by 5 percent or more.



April 16, 2010

HR Fact Friday: Tall Women Earn More Than Short Ones

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: , , , 6:00 am

Want a Raise? Better don your stilettos and stand up straighter. Tall women earn more than shorter ones, according to a new British study reported in the Daily Mail. Women who are five feet eight inches or more are twice as likely to earn $46,000 and above annually, which comes out to $8,000 more than their shorter colleagues.

For the study, 1,461 women over age 16 were asked questions about their height and their salary. Some 20 percent of the participants who were in the “tall” category reported annual earnings of $46,000, compared to just 10 percent of women whose height was under 5 feet eight inches.

The study also showed that the taller a woman is, the more comfortable she is with her body. And a quarter of the tall women reported not wanting to change anything about themselves.

Yet 90 percent of the shorter women reported being unhappy with their appearance, according to the research, which was done for the clothing chain, Long Tall Sally.

“Research shows that tall people are consistently more successful in the workplace,” Arianne Cohen, author of “The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life From On High,” told the Mail.

“Research shows that tall people are consistently more successful in the workplace. Not only do they earn more but they’re more likely to be in leadership positions.”

Source: New York Daily News, Rosemary Black


October 30, 2009

HR Fact Friday: Salary Secrets Exposed

Filed under: Compensation — Tags: , 3:27 pm

In down economic times, companies seem to have carte blanche to limit salaries and make low-ball offers. But that shouldn’t be the case.

Below are the top salary secrets your employer doesn’t want you to know. With this information in hand, you’ll be in a better position to get the pay you deserve.

Employers don’t always offer a fair salary.
Some employers think they’re being fair, but they’re not up-to-date with the latest salary information. Others may try to pay less than the market value because they’re financially strapped. That’s why it’s important that you know exactly how much money you should be making.

You can negotiate your salary in a tight job market.
In a recession, many people would rather take a pay cut than lose their jobs. Raises are hard to come by and new hires may feel they have less negotiating power. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to bump up your salary;  it’s just a little more challenging.

According to a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, 80 percent of HR professionals say employers are willing to negotiate salaries. So, if you’re looking for a raise at your current job, come armed with your marketplace worth and make your case. And, if you’ve been offered a job that pays less than you like, don’t be afraid to name your realistic asking price. Keep in mind that, if you got the offer, you’re clearly the best candidate for the job — even in this highly competitive job market.

New hires sometimes earn more than long-term employees.

When there’s a strong job market, organizations need to do whatever they can to attract top candidates. This often means that starting salaries may be higher for newbies than they are for long-term employees. Given the current economic conditions, that’s less the norm these days, but it still happens in certain industries. If you suspect that a new hire with similar responsibilities is making more than you are, use current salary data to approach your manager with the request to bring your salary up to par.

Your performance doesn’t decide your pay.
While your performance is one important factor in the salary equation, your pay is also a reflection of many other factors, including:

The job market — lower pay is more acceptable in tighter job markets.
Location — generally the higher the cost of living, the higher your salary.
Years of service — in many cases, the longer you’ve been with a company, the higher your pay.
Organization size — large organizations tend to pay more than small ones.
Education level — in most cases, the more education you have, the higher your pay. Take a free education test to find out how going back to school can help you earn more.

If you’re a valued employee who isn’t making the money you deserve, you do have options. Know your value and make your case. And know too, that many employers — particularly larger employers — have a little more in the “raise kitty” than they let on.

Source: Maria Hanson, LiveCareer


October 23, 2009

HR Fact Friday: HR Poll — Compensation Audit Frequency

It’s no secret that here at HRN we practice what we preach regarding best practices in compensation administration and employee performance management.  For example, at HRN we utilize Compease for establishing salary grades and comp levels based on current and accurate market data. We regularly update Compease with new and current compensation data compiled from the most trusted and respected sources.

In my regular review of HR news and information sources I came across a live online survey on asking this simple question:  How often does your org. audit its compensation plan to ensure fairness and equity in employees pay?

The reason this question stopped me in my tracks was because it is one of the first questions our compensation consultants ask prospective clients when discussing their compensation plan and strategy. So I was quite interested in seeing the results. And what I saw was surprising; especially when you consider that all repsondents are HR professionals who should know better.



The good news is that 30% do audit their comp plan at least once each year. Hopefully these are all Compease clients because this annual update and review function is included in the solution. But what really did surprise me is that an equal amount; nearly one-third have never audited their compensation plan! Never? The next highest number of respondents at 17% selected the ‘less frequently than 3 years’ option. Now I understand this is an unscientific and uncontrolled online poll but even with a margin of error of 10% it’s still a significant finding.

How can a company remain competitive and justify their bottom line if they have no true understanding of what other companies of the same size, in the same industry and geographical region are paying staff members for specific job functions and taking into account experience, education, and performance? With no researched and current comp plan in place a company is at risk of either overpaying employees, resulting in lower profitability, or underpaying key contributors and risking high attrition and turnover. Turnover costs the company money to recruit, hire, and train new staff.

When I see data like this I am motivated as a marketer to do a better job in communicating the benefits of Compease to HR professionals.

Having an annually updated and reliable comp plan in place does not have to be difficult, expensive, or time consuming. HRN has the solution. It’s called Compease. Give us a call and talk to a compensation professional or check it out online at here. Or better yet . . . attend a demo.


August 14, 2009

HR Fact Friday: Americans Working Much Harder – For Less Pay

Source: Reposted from an online article by John W. Schoen, Senior Producer,, 8/11/09

Feel like you’re working a lot harder these days, putting in longer hours for the same pay — or even less? The latest round of government data on worker productivity indicates that you probably are.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the American work force produced, at an annual rate, 6.4 percent more of the goods they made and services they provided in the second quarter of this year compared to a year ago. At the same time, “unit labor costs” — the amount employers paid for all that extra work — fell by 5.8 percent. The jump in productivity was higher than expected; the cut in labor costs more than double expectations. 



August 3, 2009

Remember the Minimum Wage Increase

Filed under: Salaries & Pay — Tags: , , 1:54 pm

Remember the Minimum Wage Increase.   Don’t forget that the 2007 amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act require that the federal minimum wage must be increased from $6.55/hour to $7.25/hour on Friday, July 24.   Your state law may require an even greater rate.


July 24, 2009

HR Fact Friday: Pay Raises Smallest in Decades

Filed under: Compensation — Tags: , , , , , 6:00 am

Recession-starved employee salaries have scarcely grown this year, and early predictions for 2010 aren’t looking much better. Two surveys released earlier this week found employers have increased salaries this year by the smallest percentage in decades.

Human resource consultants Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Inc. and Hay Group estimate that median pay raises for 2009 ranged between 2% and 3%. The U.S. Labor Department says pay for the average worker increased 2.2% in the year ended March 31, down from 3.2% in the year-earlier 12 month period.

For next year, the firms are projecting slightly bigger raises of 3%. That’s the smallest forecast increase in the 29 years Hay Group has done its survey.

The reasons are clear: In a recession that has eliminated 6.5 million jobs since the end of 2007, millions of workers have suffered pay cuts or have been forced to take time off withouth pay. Economists expect the U.S. economy to resume growing later this year, but the labor market typically recovers more slowly.

Analysts say the findings demonstrate the depth and volatility of the recession. A year ago, the consulting firms predicted average workers would see pay increases of 3.5% to 4% this year. But the new surveys show that raises fell well short of that.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, July 20, 2009, Michael Sanserino


May 15, 2009

HR Fact Friday: College Degree Pay Holds in 2007 as Earnings Fall

Filed under: Compensation — Tags: , , , , 8:54 am

Earnings growth slowed or declined in 2007 among workers at most education levels, while falling sharply from the prior year for men with only a high school degree, according to figures released April 27, 2009 by the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau.

Among all full- and part-time workers ages 18 and older, those with a bachelor’s degree earned $25,895, or 83% more per year than workers with a high school diploma, about the same difference as in 2006, the agency said in releasing annual data on educational attainment of the U.S. population.


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