Pathetic Pay Raise? Join the Club


If you’re lucky enough to be employed in this job market, and should be for the foreseeable future, don’t expect to get much of a raise any time soon.

In addition to corporate budget cuts and layoffs, employee pay increases have gotten smaller, and aren’t expected to be much better next year either, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Pay raises for 2009 were between 2% and 3% for both salaried and hourly employees, according to estimates reported by The Journal.  That’s the smallest percentage increase in decades.

And while top employees have received raises averaging 4%, lower-ranked employees got only 0.2% pay raises on average, according to management consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide.  For 2010, the average pay is expected to increase by 3%, a slight uptick.

Still, many large companies have instituted base pay freezes and reduced bonuses, according to a recent report on pay practices from Watson Wyatt.

Executive cash compensation has been drastically reduced as well, according to research firm Hay Group. In the financial services industry specifically, CEO compensation declined by nearly 45%, the group reported.

In this job market, however, while the employed settle for lower pay and a pittance for a raise or no raise all, many employed may consider themselves lucky just to have a job.

On the other hand, both Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs set aside record amounts of cash in order to provide their employees with bigger bonuses. They claim that there’s a “war for talent” going on. Uh huh.

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