Labor Day–Will Labor Be Rewarded?

By: Dr. Lynn Reaser

As Labor Day approaches, many workers may wonder what kind of raise they might expect in the year ahead.  Others may be just content to have a job.

Most workers can expect a raise in 2013, but it will be minimal.  On average, wages and salaries are likely to rise about 1.7%.  With unemployment still high, there is just too much competition for workers to expect much more.

Next year’s raises are likely to be similar to the increases of the past two years and could trail inflation if food prices rise sharply.  Most industries and professions can expect raises, led by occupations in high demand, such as software engineers.  Sales people can also expect above-average increases.  Moderate gains are likely in manufacturing, transportation, health care, and financial services.  More modest raises are expected for leisure and hospitality, while teachers and other public sectors may see a pass.

Most employers would like to do more for their workers, but times are not easy for anyone.  Everyone is going to have to pull together as a team until better times return.


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