All Articles Tagged "wages"
There are just some things you don’t talk about with other people at work: gastrointestinal issues, that strange cousin who’s only allowed to enter and leave your house through the back door, that mysterious tattoo that manages to see daylight every once in a while, and, most importantly how much money you make.
But that last taboo might be falling by the wayside. We just came across this recent Wall Street Journal piece that indicates the newbies to the workforce — the Millennial generation — are chatting about how much money they’re making with their colleagues. And using the information to their advantage.
“Accustomed to documenting their lives in real time on social-media forums like Facebook and Twitter, they are bringing their embrace of self-disclosure into the office with them,” the article says. “And they’re using this information to negotiate raises at their current employer or higher salaries when moving to a new job.”
Of course, employers would prefer if everyone kept their wages on the hush-hush so they can negotiate down and keep salaries in check. But as with most everything in this day and age, the Internet is passing along information, through sites like GlassDoor.com, making once unknown salary stats public knowledge.
A labor law expert tells the WSJ that barring people from talking or tweeting about their pay is against the law. So the article recommends even more transparency from employers. Some companies, like the tech business Digg, are already taking that idea and running with it, for instance, offering “salary bands” that clearly outline how much people get paid. The article also outlines a couple of suggestions for talking about your salary at work so you can get a leg up. Among them:
Know your motivation—don’t bring up the topic if you just want to brag. That never goes over well.
It’s acceptable to ask a manager about the company’s pay philosophy and pay practices. Leaders should be able to explain why they pay the way they do.
Would you — or have you — ever talked about your salary with colleagues?
No one wants to ever find out they are not realizing their full potential in their profession. It’s actually a bit heart-wrenching as the average person would like to achieve success and feel appreciated. One area not to mess with is one’s salary.
There will always be things a person can’t help like the economy and how it affects employees. In the same breath, if everyone is earning more than you, you might want to take a look at your situation. There is definitely a gender wage gap that we’re still working to close. But we have to put in some of the legwork ourselves. Here are nine reasons why you are probably making less than you should.
A recent study published in the Administrative Science Quarterly revealed that a male boss is likely to pay his staff better wages following the birth of his first daughter. The study, which analyzed the impact that fatherhood has on style of management was co-authored by David Gadis Gross, one of the associate professors at Columbia School of Business. More magazine recently caught up with Gross to discuss his findings, check out some what he revealed during the Q&A.
On what led him to participate in the study:
“I think individual managers can make a lot of difference; personalities matter. But we don’t have a lot of systematic evidence of why certain managers manage in certain ways. This study is an initial attempt to start filling in that big gap. I have two children myself, and I certainly think that has had an influence on me. When you’re a parent, whether a father or a mother, it affects you, and I think it affects you whether you have boys or girls.”
On what the study revealed about a male supervisor after he has his first child:
“For the first child of either gender, women employees’ wages actually increase, and for the first daughter, wages of both employees—men and women—increase.”
On finding that fathers tend to become more generous after having a daughter:
“Fathers don’t seem to play with daughters the same way [they do with sons]. They seem to be more nurturing, they seem to be more focused on developing social skills and less on achievement. By having a daughter, especially his first daughter, a male CEO, to some degree, [may go] through some process of socialization that could make him more generous toward his employees.”
“There’s a paper that’s been around for a couple of years that looks at male U.S. congressmen, and finds that if they have daughters of reproductive age, they tend to vote a little bit more favorably on women’s reproductive rights issues. So, you can see a situation where if a CEO has a daughter, he might start to regard his female employees more benignly.”
Where you live can affect your pocketbook in more ways than one. As we recently reported, where you live can affect your job opportunities. This is especially true for women, who on average earn only 77 percent as much as men in the U.S. but are the majority of breadwinners for their families. Forbes has put together a list of the best-paying cities for women in 2014. The magazine examined the 2011 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census (the latest data available), supplied by financial literacy website NerdWallet.
Here are the top five cities where women can earn the most:
1) Our nation’s capital. “In the Washington, D.C. metro area women working full-time earn a median income of $57,128. That’s nearly triple the salary in the worst-paying city for women. In Opelousas, L.A., women earn just $21,658 a year,” reports Forbes. D.C. attracts highly educated professionals who work in high-paying fields, such as politics and law. Still, even here, women earn only 81 percent as much men, who earn a median salary of $70,758.
2) Do you know the way to San Jose? The second top-paying city for women is San Jose, CA. Women living here earn a median salary of $56,499. In fact, seven metro areas in California made the top 20 list. “California cities like San Jose and San Francisco have become hotbeds of innovation and recruit talent with backgrounds in engineering and computer science, among the best-paying fields,” writes the magazine.
3) New England calls: The Bridgeport, CT woman’s median salary is $54,844, which is good, but still just 73 percent of what men make in the city. Urban centers in the East feature a high concentration of top-rated universities and highly-skilled, professional jobs, which pushes up earnings, according to Forbes.
4) Golden Gate perks: The median salary in San Francisco is $54,376 for female workers. Women take home 84 percent of what men earn.
5) Jersey Girl: In the Trenton, NJ metro area, a woman’s median salary is $52,319, which is 81 percent of a man’s.
The bottom of the list included cities in Texas, Florida and Missouri, where median salaries for women is less than $28,000.
The data also further highlighted the gender wage gap. “In fact, out of all the cities tracked, there are only four in which women earn equal to or more than men: Key West, Fla; Madera, Calif.; Fort Payne, Ala.; and Sebring, Fla, ” reports Forbes. All the more reason many women’s organizations are backing the Fairness Pay Act.
Would you relocate for better pay?
There has been much talk about the gender wage gap — that women in the United States are paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to men on average. But what’s not discussed as much is the wage gap as it applies to minority women. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, African-American women earn just 70 cents for every dollar paid to men and just 64 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, reports The Huffington Post. “What’s more: It’s happening in the 20 states with the largest number of African-American women working full-time and year round, studies show,” writes the site.
Some government officials and economists have been trying to find solution to the wage gap in general, and some experts have suggested that closing the gender wage gap would create a huge economic stimulus. But a report by the National Partnership for Women & Families says that pay equality is still a long way off — particularly for women of color, reports HuffPo.
“These new data show that the wage gap is costing women of color thousands of dollars in critical income each year that could be spent on food, rent, health care and on meeting other fundamental needs for their families,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, in a release. The Partnership study found that “closing the wage gap would afford a working African-American woman more than two years’ worth of food; almost 10 months’ worth of mortgage and utilities payments; more than 16 months of rent; more than three years’ worth of family health insurance premiums; or 4,549 additional gallons of gas, each year.”
Experts stress that policymakers must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and develop more ways “to either push women into higher-paying fields where the men are, or to make sure jobs women do hold are valued in the same way,” Heather Boushey, senior economist the Center for American Progress, told the Huffington Post last year.
You’ve definitely noticed a change in your paycheck since the beginning of the year. A bad change. A very bad change.
The tax relief that we’ve enjoyed for the past couple of years came to an abrupt and painful stop on January 1 when the Social Security tax went up from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. The increased taxes are already taking a toll on consumer confidence, which, according to BusinessMirror, dipped to a point we haven’t seen since November 2011. With less money to spend, it looks like there’s going to be less shopping in all of our futures.
Ad Age estimates that, for an income of $50,000, the increase amounts to $1, 000 per year. (The tax increase applies to wages up to $113,700.) Analysts say that totals something in the range of $115 billion-ish. That’s money that people won’t be using to buy stuff at the mall, with consumer spending projections going down.
There is some debate about where Americans will be spending their money now. Will they flock to discount retailers like Target? Will certain retail areas, like home decor, be hit the hardest? Will fast food restaurants like Wendy’s benefit? If there’s less money in people’s pockets, it’s likely that a variety of companies and industries will be hurt.
Research from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released just yesterday shows that Americans spent the extra cash they had been getting in 2011 and 2012 rather than saving it or paying what they owe. Nearly a fifth of people (19 percent) who said they would use the money to pay off debt actually spent it on other things. And 70 percent of people who said they intended to spend it like there’s no tomorrow kept their promise. “All told, about 36% of the extra income was spent by respondents — a relatively large figure,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
The report also found that it’s the folks who make more money, not the low-income earners, who are more likely to go on a spending spree. Low-income earners were actually more likely to use the money to pay debt.
We’ve talked a lot about budgeting cash on this site, and hopefully most of you out there are able to readjust without too much trouble. What are some of the things you’re doing to account for the lower take-home pay? Let us know in the comments.
If you are like many, you worry about your parents as they grow older. The future may not be so rosy for mom.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts poverty for mothers in their elder years, reports Forbes. The OECD is an international economic organization of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
In a press release, the organization takes a closer look at the earnings of mothers in many countries, including the United States. The wage gap between men and women, according to the OECD will leave many women unable to take care for themselves after they retire. In the U.S., the wage gap between men and women without children is seven percent. After women have children, the wage gap increases to 23 percent.
Women typically retire on lower pensions, yet live an average of six years longer than men. As a result, says OECD, “[W]omen over 65 are today more than one and a half times more likely to live in poverty than men in the same age bracket.”
According to the latest Census Buerau data, more single mothers are living in poverty– a 31.6 percent poverty rate, or 4.7 million women in 2010. The numbers are more disheartening for elderly women. “Growing numbers of older Americans are spending their retirement years in poverty, according to a recent Employee Benefit Research Institute study. The proportion of older people living below the poverty line has been growing steadily since 2005,” reports U.S. News & World Report. Medical expenses seem to play a large part of increase rate of poverty. And again, women are hit the hardest. “Poverty rates for women were nearly double that of men in almost all years between 2001 and 2009. In 2009, poverty rates were 7 percent for men and 13 percent for women,” writes the magazine.
Are you concerned about your mother’s retirement?
The country has been consumed with the news that “right-to-work” legislation was signed into law in Michigan on Tuesday evening. “The pair of new laws, which make Michigan the 24th right-to-work state, make it harder for its workers to organize and to maintain power because workers covered by union contracts will no longer be required to pay dues,” explains NBC News. Less money means weakened unions. And it gives companies the power to hire non-union workers.
The number of union members has been steadily dropping in recent years, to 14.8 million people, or 11.8 percent of workers, NBC News reports. (The article blames the loss of auto jobs to globalization.) But even with their number diminished, unions still hold political sway. This law, and many Republican lawmakers, seek to diminish them further.
“Those who oppose unions say that’s a victory for businesses who want more flexibility in how they manage their work forces, and for workers who don’t want to be constrained by union rules or collective bargaining agreements. That, they say, will ultimately create more jobs and help the state’s economy,” NBC News continues.
The unions, of course, aren’t buying this, so they’re already plotting to reverse these laws or dump the politicians who support them out of office. Talking Points Memo lays out the options in further detail. The Atlantic is banking on union attempts to boot Republican governors from office.
“Many Republican governors in the industrial Rust Belt are aggressively challenging union power, and hoping to see the fruits of their own labor rewarded. For a Michigan governor to sign antilabor legislation and live to tell the tale would be truly historic, in the birthplace of America’s labor movement,” that website reports.
“These upcoming gubernatorial races will be a test for how much influence labor can still muster,” the article continues.
The Michigan Chronicle argues that right-to-work laws would actually benefit black workers.
“The fact is that, contrary to the “scare tactics” of union bosses, Right to Work Laws do not give employers the ability to fire employees ‘at will,’ making Black workers especially vulnerable to losing their jobs,” the outlet says. “A Right to Work Law empowers workers, giving them the option to choose whether or not to join unions without suffering backlash, such as employer or union retaliation. The law also means that workers may resign union membership, when they so choice, devoid of any consequence.”
The article argues that in neighboring states with right-to-work laws, per-capital income has grown significantly more than in Michigan. And in Detroit, the black population makes up 84 percent of the total population. Unemployment in the city is 17 percent, according to the article.
On the flip side, Slate magazine questions the numbers that are continuously pushed out by right-to-work supporters. The article quotes numbers from Fox News that puts the unemployment rate in right-to-work states at 6.9 percent vs. a national average of 7.9 percent vs. 7.6 percent in non-right-to-work states. Calling the numbers “impossible,” the site says that while the employment rate in right-to-work states might be a little higher, the cause hasn’t been established. And the article reiterates the message of the picture above and the Economic Policy Institute: workers in right-to-work states make $1,500 less annually than those in non-right-to-work states.
The same organization also says that black male union workers earn $2.60 more per hour than non-union black males, and women, $2.25 more per hour.
Workers across the country have been more actively protesting low wages and long hours in recent weeks. Walmart staffers raised their voices over schedules that had them in stores on Thanksgiving Day. And today there will be an international day of action. Port workers in Los Angeles went on strike. And fast-food workers in New York have been protesting wages — $7.25 per hour with a median annual income of $18,230, according to Daily Finance. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show that more older people — 28 and older, in general; 32 and older for women — are working these jobs. Some even have college credits under their belt. The headline on this Bloomberg story paints the picture: “McDonald’s $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap.” Tyree Johnson, who works at two McD’s restaurants and has been an employee of the company for 20 years, struggles to pay for his single-room occupancy home. The protesters were asking for $15 per hour.
“[S]ome protesters also hope to improve their bargaining power by gaining recognition for a new union, called the Fast Food Workers Committee, that would represent fast-food workers at a variety of restaurants,” writes Daily Finance. “[Organizer Jonathan] Westin claimed that last week’s strikes demonstrated to workers that they could strike without losing their jobs, and predicted that this would lead to increased employee involvement in future protests and build momentum for the movement.”
In other words, workers whose place on the corporate totem pole is low are finding strength in numbers and seek out the kind of support and cohesion that a single voice — like the one offered by a union — offers. If you read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair in high school, you’ll recall that many of the same issues were discussed when that book was published in 1906 — workers coming together to fight for fair pay and better working conditions. Would this lower revenues for these corporate giants and their executives? Sure (but they’d still be super-rich). Does that mean there might be fewer items on the dollar menu? Yep. But is it better for individuals and society as a whole when people make a living wage? Absolutely.
Part of the problem, The Daily Beast points out, are the unions themselves. They’ve failed to detail the modern-day significance of unions and the labor movement.
[Unions] drive up the cost of doing business, we hear, though unmentioned is that higher wages mean a stronger local economy. Unions are corrupt, we hear, though that’s a hard stone to cast for anyone living in a glass mansion built by the banking and investment industries, or with the ill-gotten gains from corporate insider trading. Even odder is to hear that argument from working-class people, who have bought into the notion that “right to work” actually has something to do with workplace freedom.
Now, as in the past, unions stand for workers who, on their own, couldn’t possibly bargain with the huge corporations that hold their livelihoods in their hands. The fight is on and neither side is backing down.
Sales associates — on both a year-round and seasonal basis — at retailers across the country have gotten their marching orders for the big Black Friday shopping day. But some Walmart associates are thinking of marching all right… right out of the store to strike against the company over opening hours that will interrupt their Thanksgiving holiday.
Walmart stores are scheduled to open at 8pm Thanksgiving evening. One million workers are meant to be on the floor. But staffers at 1,000 locations across the country are planning a work stoppage that could start even before Friday.
As ABCNews.com notes, other retailers including Best Buy and Target have pushed up their Black Friday opening hours, giving customers the option to shop basically throughout Thanksgiving Day. And some associates are excited to be part of the day. “We respect the rights of our associates to express their views but if they are scheduled to work, we expect them to show up and do their job,” Kory Lundberg, director of National Media Relations for Walmart told the website in an email.
This isn’t a new argument, but rather one that was also waged last year with many people signing online petitions against the Thursday start to Black Friday. “What seems to really getting folks up in arms, however, is the way that commercialism is creeping into the once-sacrosanct holiday of Thanksgiving, as it becomes commonplace for stores to open with deals aplenty on Thanksgiving night,” writes TIME magazine.
Looking back at one of last year’s petitions, the magazine further reports, “The petition states that it is ‘inhumane and inconsiderate’ to ask employees to work go into work after their holiday dinner and then work through the night into Black Friday.” Other petitions directed at Walmart have argued that the working hours put a strain on and “hurt” families.
The article makes the point that stores wouldn’t open if there weren’t shoppers there to spend money. A valid point. But part of the reason that shoppers are there is because they want to make the most of the holidays, which includes gifts for everyone. And with these tough economic times, people will go to great lengths to save precious dollars any way they can. If that means getting to the shops earlier and earlier each year, so be it. It’s kind of chicken and egg. But we would be curious to find out if the same people show up every year for the doorbuster deals, or if these earlier hours are attracting even more people or leading to more sales. (Some local media are reporting that lines are already forming.)
But back to the headline. Walmart’s VP of communications made an appearance on CNN today and the reporter, Carol Costello, brought up the fact that Walmart pays some of its workers wages that are barely above the poverty level even as the net income for the retailer during the third quarter was $3.63 billion and as the wage gap in the US grows. Think Progress pulls the quote (emphasis theirs):
Our average rate is about $12.40 an hour far a full time associate. We also offer comprehensive benefit packages as low as $17 a pay period, which is very affordable and we also pay quaterly bonuses, which is something that not a lot of retailers do…. And we know that they appreciate that, they also get a 10 percent discount card. So you have to factor in all of those things when you’re looking for how we’re helping associates.
In 1994, South Africa held its first elections effectively bringing an end to apartheid and putting Nelson Mandela in power. It may have been the end of the struggle for Mandela and his fellow South African freedom fighters, but it was the beginning of a new battle.
South Africa has the largest economy in Africa, and the 28th largest in the world. And the World Bank has ranked it as an upper-middle income economy. Still, about a quarter of the population is unemployed and lives on less than US $1.25 a day, according to the United Nations Development Program.
Unemployment continues to be extremely rampant across the country. The most affected are black South Africans — 80 percent of South Africans are of black African ancestry. Although many blacks have risen to middle or upper classes, the unemployment rate of blacks has increased sharply between 1994 and 2003.
Now comes just-released data that finds South African whites earn six times more than blacks. Results from the 2011 census show that nearly two decades after the end of apartheid disparities between rich and poor are growing.
“The average annual income for black households was 60,613 rand ($7,500) in 2011, according to the census, while white households earned an average of 365,134 rand ($45,600) per year,” reports Yahoo News. “The census figures on services said nearly 1.3 million households did not have access to piped water, and the majority of those households are black.”
Many people in the prosperous country still do not have proper housing. The South African Census 2011 found that there remains more than 1.2 million “informal” dwellings, including squatter camps. This does not include 712,956 shacks. And, while some 8.2 million households have flushing toilets, 748,597 households have no toilets at all.
South African President Jacob Zuma was even disheartened by the report. “These figures tell us at the bottom of the rung is the black majority who continue to be confronted by deep poverty, unemployment, and inequality, despite the progress that we have made since 1994,” he said in a statement. “Much remains to be done to further improve the livelihoods of our people especially in terms of significant disparities that still exist between the rich and poor.”