Category Archives: Compensation

Public Works 2017 Salary Survey Results

Source: Victoria K. Sicaras, Public Works, Vol. 148 no. 5, June/July 2017

Paychecks continue rising, but not enough to make up for ground lost during the recession and increasing benefits costs.

It’s been nine years since the U.S. economy bottomed out, and the heavily hit real estate and construction markets have finally entered full recovery mode. The unemployment rate has dropped back down to prerecession levels and gas prices are even lower than in 2006. Plus, consumer confidence has so far remained strong in 2017, according to The Confidence Board, the nonprofit economic research association owned by Nielson Holdings.

China-Like Wages Now Part Of U.S. Employment Boom

Source: Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes, August 4, 2017

…. Here’s the math: a 30 hour work week at $15 an hour is $450 per week gross, or $1,800 a month. That comes out to less than $22,000 a year. At 40 hours, Amazon warehouse full timers are earning $28,800 before taxes. ….

…. Like any other retail gig, the Amazon employees are likely to be from dual income heads of households, or they will be young, single individuals either just starting out or hanging on for dear life. Amazon warehouse pay is around 30% higher than starting pay at the local mall.

The lowest paid workers in that warehouse, assuming 30 hours per week, would earn around $18,000 annually, or roughly $7,200 more than the median Chinese worker; a country where people still survive on $2,000 a year.

Compared to the median wages in Beijing, a rich part of China, that $14.75 an hour hire working 30 hours a week is earning $442.50 versus Beijing’s median wage of $329.53 per week. The fork lift operator at $12.75 is making $382, not much more the average guy in Beijing.

Worth noting, a one bedroom apartment in Fall River costs about $1,000 a month. A one bedroom apartment in Beijing is around $930. The working class in each city are having equally hard times affording median rents. ….

Equal Pay for Black Women

Source: Brandie Temple and Jasmine Tucker, National Women’s Law Center, Fact Sheet, July 2017

From the summary:
When comparing all men and women who work full time, year round in the United States, women are paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts.  But the wage gap is even larger when looking specifically at Black women who work full time, year round—they are paid only 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.  This gap, which amounts to a loss of $21,001 a year, means that Black women have to work more than 19 months—until the very last day of July—to make as much as white, non-Hispanic men did in the previous 12-month calendar year.

Ohio Teachers Win Back Regular Raises

Source: Myra Warne, Labor Notes, July 27, 2017

In 2014, members of the Maysville Education Association voted to accept a deal that would end our pay freeze, which dated back to 2011, in exchange for replacing our traditional pay scale with a new merit-pay system.

Local union leaders were warned by Ohio Education Association staff that a return to the step-and-ladder system of regular raises might be impossible—or require a strike. But this year, as the money for sweeteners and incentives dried up, a group of members committed to winning back our old pay scale…..

Basic Income in a Small Town: Understanding the Elusive Effects on Work

Source: David Calnitsky, Jonathan P. Latner, Social Problems, Vol. 64 no. 3, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This paper examines the impact of a guaranteed annual income experiment from the 1970s called the Manitoba Basic Annual Income Experiment (Mincome). We examine Mincome’s “saturation” site located in Dauphin, Manitoba, where all town residents were eligible for payments. Would people work less if their basic needs were guaranteed outside the market? Never before or since the Dauphin experiment has a rich country tested a guaranteed annual income at the level of an entire town. A community-level experiment accounts for the fact that people make decisions in a social context, not in isolation. Using hitherto unanalyzed data we find an 11.3 percentage point reduction in labor market participation, and nearly 30 percent of that fall can be attributed to “community context” effects. Additionally, we show that withdrawals were driven disproportionately by young and single-headed households. Participants who provide qualitative explanations for work withdrawals typically cite care work, disability and illness, uneven employment opportunities, or educational investment.

Agencies Could Learn a Lot From Tennessee’s Shift to Pay for Performance

Source: Howard Risher, Gov Exec, June 28, 2017

Federal agencies will certainly not be the first public employer to switch to pay for performance. Among the earliest were Florida in 1968 and Wisconsin and Utah in 1969. Over the next four decades, reports show another 20 states adopted the policy although almost half cover less than 10 percent of the workforce. Unfortunately, their experience has not been documented or assessed recently.

The most recent may be Tennessee, and by all standards it’s demonstrated one of most successful transitions. The statute Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act was signed in April 2012, although significantly the first payouts didn’t occur until 2016…..

Wage Discrimination: Behind the Numbers

Source: Jocelyn Frye and Kaitlin Holmes, Center for American Progress, July 5, 2017

Equal pay is often framed in the public debate as being solely a women’s issue. But a close look at the data reveals that wage discrimination is a problem experienced by many different groups, including women, men, older workers, and workers with disabilities.

A review of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge filings data—both public and unpublished—helps paint a diverse and nuanced picture of wage discrimination claims. Having a clearer, more accurate understanding of wage discrimination is essential in identifying the breadth of the challenges facing workers and the most effective solutions in response to the needs of workers.

The majority of wage discrimination charges alleging discrimination based on gender are filed by women. But a portion of gender-based wage discrimination charges are also filed by men. A review of unpublished EEOC data from the past four fiscal years shows that men filed, on average, 15 percent of gender-based wage discrimination charges…..

Unions, Workers, and Wages at the Peak of the American Labor Movement

Source: Brantly Callaway, William J. Collins, National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper No. 23516, June 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
We study a novel dataset compiled from archival records, which includes information on men’s wages, union status, educational attainment, work history, and other background variables for several cities circa 1950. Such data are extremely rare for the early post-war period when U.S. unions were at their peak. After describing patterns of selection into unions, we measure the union wage premium using unconditional quantile methods. The wage premium was larger at the bottom of the income distribution than at the middle or higher, larger for African Americans than for whites, and larger for those with low levels of education. Counterfactuals are consistent with the view that unions substantially narrowed urban wage inequality at mid-century.

How much do librarians make? 2017 librarian salary ranges

Source: LibGig, 2017

…..How to determine librarian salary potential
Figuring out library salary ranges involves three steps:
1. Identify potential sources of credible and current salary information.
2. Figure out what job titles those sources are likely to use for the position you’re interested in, and whether what they’re calling, for instance, “data management” is actually what you’d call “records management”.
3. Assess the professional attributes you have and lack that will influence which end of the salary range you’ll likely fall within……

The Relative Returns to Workforce Investment Act–Supported Training in Florida by Field, Gender, and Education and Ways to Improve Trainees’ Choices

Source: Louis Jacobson and Jonathan Davis, Journal of Labor Economics 35, no. S1, July 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The key finding of this paper is that women Workforce Investment Act (WIA) trainees select higher-return fields than men but men usually have higher returns than women in the same field. Among men, the higher the level of education, the greater the proportion who select high-return fields; the reverse is true for women. Finally, most men select fields that are predominantly male, and vice versa for women, even though gains among men and women making unconventional choices are often large. Thus, there is considerable room for men and women to increase their gains by altering their choice of field.