Category Archives: Compensation

States Venture Into Teacher Performance Pay

Source: Pauline Vu, Stateline.org, October 09, 2007

The controversial idea of paying teachers based not on how long they’ve been teaching but on how much their students learn got a boost when a key congressman recently proposed adding pay-for-performance money for teachers in high-poverty schools to the next version of the federal No Child Left Behind education law.

Retracting a Gift: How Does Employee Effort Respond to Wage Reductions?

Source: Darin Lee, Nicholas G. Rupp, Journal of Labor Economics, Volume 25, Number 4, October 2007
(subscription required)

Since the days of Henry Ford, employers have argued that higher pay induces employees to provide additional effort. While the converse is also thought to be true, there is little empirical evidence testing this hypothesis. Not only are significant company-wide pay cuts rarely observed in practice but measures of employee effort are typically difficult to quantify. This article examines the effort responses of U.S. commercial airline pilots following a recent series of large, permanent pay cuts. Using airline on-time performance as proxy for unobservable pilot effort, we find only limited support for the hypothesis that pay cuts lower employee effort.

Librarian Salary Survey Reports Median Librarian Salary Up 2.8 Percent To $57,809 In 2007; Non-MLS Position Salaries Also Reported

Source: American Library Association, press release, August 28, 2007

Analysis of data from more than 800 public and academic libraries showed the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees increased 2.8 percent from 2006, up $1,550 to $57,809. The median ALA MLS salary was $53,000. Salaries ranged from $22,048 to $225,000.

For the first time the non-MLS salary survey data, including 62 non-MLS positions, reported salaries for staff employed as librarians but who do not have ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees in Library Science. Non-MLS salaries ranged $10,712 to $143,700. Both printed surveys also indicate the minimal educational requirement for each position.
See also: ALA-APA Rural Library Staff Salary Survey

Most Workers’ Wages Stuck In The Slow Lane

Source: Jared Bernstein and Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute, EPI Briefing Paper #195, September 3, 2007

From the press release:
In a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, the nation’s leading think tank on labor market trends, economists Jared Bernstein and Lawrence Mishel analyze the state of working America this Labor Day. Their report, Economy’s Gains Fail to Reach Most Workers’ Paychecks, shows the latest data on where workers stand and looks behind the numbers to the forces at work in an economy that doesn’t seem to be playing by the rules.

State Employee Salaries Still Trail Private Sector Despite Slight Increase

Source: American City and County, September 4, 2007

State employees’ salaries rose slightly from 2006 to 2007, but they still lag behind what the private sector pays for the same jobs, according a report by the Washington-based American Federation of Teacher’s (AFT) Public Employees division. The median increase of 5.7 percent for the 45 jobs included in the “2007 AFT Public Employees Compensation Survey” is the highest increase in the past five years.

The State of Working New York 2007

Source: Fiscal Policy Institute, Labor Day 2007

From the press release: (scroll down)
Four years into an economic expansion, New Yorkers finally got a slight raise last year, according to this year’s edition of The State of Working New York. In particular, the troubled upstate economy has experienced encouraging payroll growth, with Buffalo leading the way. But overall, these modest gains stand out against a backdrop of worrisome long-term trends.
See also:
Executive Summary
Recommendations

Unions and Upward Mobility for Low-Wage Workers

Source: John Schmitt, Margy Waller, Shawn Fremstad, and Ben Zipperer, Center for Economic and Policy Research, August 2007

From press release:
Unionization substantially raises wages and benefits even in typically low-wage occupations, according to “Unions and Upward Mobility for Low- Wage Workers”, a report released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Inclusion.

The report, which analyzed 15 of the lowest-paying occupations in the United States, found that unionized workers earned about 16 percent more than their non-union counterparts. Unionized workers in these same industries were also about 25 percentage points more likely to have health insurance or a pension plan.

For workers in these low-wage industries, unionization raised their wages, on average, about $1.75 per hour. In financial terms, the union effect on employer-provided health insurance and pensions was even larger.

Executive Excess 2007

Source: Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, Chuck Collins, Sam Pizzigati, Institute for Policy Studies, and Mike Lapham, United for a Fair Economy, August 29, 2007

From press release:
With leading Presidential candidates turning up the heat on overpaid CEOs, a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy documents for the first time the extreme pay gaps that have opened up not just between U.S. business leaders and American workers, but between U.S. business leaders and leaders elsewhere in American — and European — society. CEOs of large U.S. companies last year averaged $10.8 million in total compensation, over 364 times the pay of the average U.S. worker, a calculation based on data from an Associated Press survey of 386 Fortune 500 companies. The top 20 private equity and hedge fund managers, pocketed an average $657.5 million, Forbes magazine estimates. That’s 22,255 times the pay of an average U.S. worker. Workers on the bottom rung of the economy have just received their first federal minimum wage increase in a decade. But the inflation-adjusted value of the new minimum, despite the hike, stands 7 percent below the minimum wage level a decade ago. CEO pay, in that decade, has increased over inflation by roughly 45 percent.

Foreign-Born Wage and Salary Workers in the US Labor Force and Unions

Source: Chuncui Velma Fan and Jeanne Batalova, Migration Policy Institute, August 2007

Labor unions have departed from their historical skepticism of immigrant workers as the overall number of wage and salary immigrant workers and their proportion in the labor unions have increased. Instead, labor unions have become an important force in support of proimmigrant policies.

This Spotlight looks at the available data on immigrant workers and unions, highlighting variations in union representation rates of immigrant workers across industrial sectors.

U.S.: Household Income Rises, Poverty Rate Declines, Number of Uninsured Up

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, CB07-120, August 28, 2007

From the news release:
Real median household income in the United States climbed between 2005 and 2006, reaching $48,200, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the second consecutive year that income has risen. Meanwhile, the nation’s official poverty rate declined for the first time this decade, from 12.6 percent in 2005 to 12.3 percent in 2006. There were 36.5 million people in poverty in 2006, not statistically different from 2005. The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 44.8 million (15.3 percent) in 2005 to 47 million (15.8 percent) in 2006. These findings are contained in the Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006 report. The data were compiled from information collected in the 2007 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). Much more summary material in this news release.

Related from the Census Bureau:
• Numerous Documents and Tables Can Be Accessed Here
Income, Earnings and Poverty in the United States: 2006

Other related items:
Number And Percentage Of Americans Who Are Uninsured Climbs Again: Poverty Edges Down But Remains Higher, And Median Income For Working-Age Households Remains Lower, Than When Recession Hit Bottom In 2001
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 28, 2007
More Americans, Including More Children, Now Lack Health Insurance
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 28, 2007
U.S. Uninsured Rate Climbs Again
Source: Daniel C. Vock, Stateline.org, August 29, 2007
Number of Uninsured U.S. Residents Increases by 2.2M to 47M in 2006
Source: Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, August 29, 2007