Salaries No Longer Keeping Pace With Inflation

While employees in some industries (cough journalism cough) won’t be surprised to learn that their salaries have not kept up with the cost of living, a new survey says that this unfortunate fact is now true across the board—the first time this has happened since 1980.

The WorldatWork 2011-2010 Salary Budget Survey found that as the average salary budget increase rose by 2.8 percent from April 2010-April 2011, inflation rose by 3.2 percent.

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, explains that salaries will only rise when unemployment (currently higher than 9 percent) decreases; until then, employers have no pressure to raise wages.

“Time will tell if salary budget increases will return to pre-recessionary levels, but hikes may only occur if the weight shifts between the supply and demand for labor,” Alison Avalos, research manager for WorldatWork, told SHRM. Until then, it’s not getting any better: WorldAtWork predicts average salary increases of 2.9 percent for the rest of 2011.