Salary Stats: The Price of Employment

By Daniel Abramson, HRSource

Employers often ask us where they can find the going pay rates for various jobs.

To the right, we list some popular websites for salary and benchmarking comparisons. These sites are a good starting point, but with the exception of SalaryExpert, they may not have the latest wage data due to the current labor shortage and the resulting pressure on competitive pay. Indeed, nearly 10 million open positions went begging as of Sept. 1, and the latest employment figures didn’t show much change.

As a result, the average hourly pay for appliance techs went from between $18 and $22 just 18 months ago to the current rate of $25 to $29 in many markets.

To help provide a more realistic snapshot of wages, we’ve also compiled a salary survey of select BrandSource members across the country. The poll was initially completed last November but was updated this past August and September. As a result, the pay rates tend to track higher than many of websites, as salaries have steadily been on the rise.

What’s going on?! Over the last year and a half, salaries have been out of whack because of state and federal unemployment benefits and pandemic relief, combined with pent-up hiring demand. In many cases, employees have decided to stay on the sidelines, opting to collect government checks rather than seek employment.

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Salary Benchmarking Websites

Here’s a list of the leading wage info websites. We can’t, however, vouch for the timeliness of their data.

Glassdoor: One of the most popular salary websites, this California company, Glassdoor has described itself as the “Trip Advisor” of career options.

Indeed: This well-known job site has 50 million postings and a salary search tool with keywords. There’s a ton of pay info here.

LinkedIn: Though not a salary website per se, LinkedIn is still a valuable resource that you can use as a reference for wage data.

PayScale.com:  Similar to Salary.com, Payscale is one of the best salary websites out there and is offered in free and paid versions. 

Salary.com: The grandaddy of wage information, Salary.com is one of the oldest sources of salary data online.

SalaryExpert: With data updated daily, Salary Expert offers not only free and current salary reports but cost-of-living analyses and long-term earnings potential.

Firsthand: Recently merged with Vault.com, another highly credible salary website.

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What should you do? With escalating salaries and expanded job opportunities, keep an eye on your key employees.  In this tight job market, many people have their ear to the ground, seeking out new positions with higher pay. You want to make sure that you don’t lose your A-Players!  Consider the very real possibility that many of your best people are being recruited as you read this.

Heads up! This is the time of year when the federal government issues its cost-of-living index (COLA) for the coming year. Based on estimates by the chief actuary at the Social Security Administration, along with The Senior Citizens League, Moody’s Analytics, and the economics blog, Calculated Risk, it looks like the COLA increases will be around 6 percent in 2022, compared to the current rate of 1.3 percent. This may very well impact your salary budgets and margins in the new year.

Finally, please feel free to contact me directly if you need some personal guidance on hiring strategy and compensation programs. Happy to help.

Daniel Abramson is Managing Lead of HRSource, a comprehensive collection of customized employment tools and turnkey solutions exclusive to BrandSource members. For more information, contact Daniel at (540) 535-8484 or daniel@staffdynamics.biz.