Nearly all companies plan to give raises to their employees next year, with an average salary bump of 3 percent, the same increase workers received this year, according to a new survey released Monday by Towers Watson.
Raises for executives and management will be 3.1 percent.
“To a large extent, 3 percent pay raises have become the new norm in corporate America,” Sandra McLEllan, North American Practice Leader for Towers Watson said in a statement. “We haven’t seen variation from this level for many years.”
While the average raise is 3 percent, companies plan to tie the amount of individual raises to worker performance. Employees with the best reviews will receive an average 4.6 percent increase in salary, while workers with below-average ratings will get less than 1 percent.
The survey also found that companies are shifting their compensation packages to include more short-term incentives and bonuses. Eighty-five percent of workers took home a bonus this year, up from 81 percent this year. Nearly 90 percent of exempt employees were eligible for an annual or short-term bonus.
Even as unemployment has finally fallen, wage growth since the Great Recession remains largely stalled. Last month, wages for civilian workers grew just 2.1 percent, according to the Employment Cost Index.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is looking for economic growth before instituting a rate hike, has said that stagnant wages are one factor hampering such growth. After all, consumers can’t increase the amount of goods and services they can purchase if they aren’t increasing their pay.
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“The fact is very little medical care is shoppable. We become good shoppers when we are repeat shoppers. If you buy a new car every three years, you can become an informed shopper. There is no way to become an informed shopper for your appendix. You only get your appendix out once.”
— David Newman, former director of the Health Care Cost Institute, quoted in an article Thursday by Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times. Levey says the “consumer revolution” in health care – in which patients shop around for the best prices, forcing doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical firms to compete with lower prices – hasn’t materialized, but the higher deductibles that were part of the effort are very much in effect. “High-deductible health insurance was supposed to make American patients into smart shoppers,” Levey writes. “Instead, they got stuck with medical bills they can't afford.”
The House Ways and Means Committee released a new analysis of drug prices in the U.S. compared to 11 other developed nations, and the results, though predictable, aren’t pretty. Here are the key findings from the report:
- The U.S. pays the most for drugs, though prices varied widely.
- U.S. drug prices were nearly four times higher than average prices compared to similar countries.
- U.S. consumers pay significantly more for drugs than other countries, even when accounting for rebates.
- The U.S. could save $49 billion annually on Medicare Part D alone by using average drug prices for comparator countries.
The U.S. ranks 18th for retiree well-being among developed nations, according to the latest Global Retirement Index from Natixis, the French corporate and investment bank. The U.S. fell two spots in the ranking this year, due in part to rising economic inequality and poor performance for life expectancy.