Salary Report

The higher the salaries, the better it is for the retailer. That’s why a recent salary report by the Conference Board, based in New York City, is not great news. With total salary increase budgets now barely exceeding inflation, even top performers may be just keeping up with cost of living increases, according to The Conference Board Salary Increase Budgets for 2010.

New 2010 projections show that salary increase budgets in the U.S. will be below three percent for the first time in more than two decades, and projected 2010 salary structure adjustments for all categories of employees are not expected to top two percent; well below The Conference Board’s forecasted inflation rate of 2.6 percent.

“Compensation professionals usually make sure that the salary structures move in lock step with inflation, in order to ensure that structures represent market rate for jobs,” says John Gibbons, program director, human capital, The Conference Board. “They budget increases in a particular year to reward great performance, allowing earnings to exceed inflation and move people up through the ranges. Salary ranges also represent employers’ anticipation of what the job market will require. Projections of near zero percent in real terms mean that employers are making the assumption that the salary market is simply not going to move up, regardless of increases in the cost of living.”