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  • Romney Earned 500 Times the Average Worker in 2010

    Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released his 2010 tax returns yesterday and America learned he paid an effective tax rate of 15 percent on $21.6 million of income. Slate took this information and put an interesting spin on it: "How long would it take the GOP candidate to earn what you made in a year?" It allows you to compare your own annual income to Romney's.

    Being the salary experts we are at PayScale.com, we decided to take some common American jobs and utilize the calculator on Slate's article to show the disparity between Mitt and the average American worker. In addition, using the tax rate calculator provided by CPA Site Solutions, we will also show the estimated effective tax rates paid by these average American workers.

    Are you an average American worker and wondering if you are earning what you are worth? Find out with a free PayScale Salary Report.

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  • Trends in US Wages: The PayScale Index

    Today we launched our fifth release of The PayScale Index, which tracks changes in the price of labor since 2006. And for the first time since 2008, wage increases are being seen across the board.

    Previously, wage growth winners were typically in just high-tech and energy industries, while workers in most other industries experienced no growth or even a loss in wages. However, the tides have turned as even workers in previously failing industries, such as construction and manufacturing, are seeing wage increases.

    In this post I will look deeper into the wage trends experienced by different industries, job families and cities. These wage trends are useful for individuals to understand how overall market prices for broad labor markets are changing on average, but they won't define your individual market price. To find out what you are worth given your job title, experience level, educational background and numerous other factors, take the comprehensive PayScale Salary Survey.

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  • CEO Pay vs. Typical Worker Pay

    We recently released an insightful bit of data that looks at the ratio of pay for Fortune 50 CEOs to the pay of employees at their respective companies. The results are unsettling -- on average the Fortune 50 CEOs earn 213 times more than their workers.

    Who tops the list for the biggest ratio and which CEO earns pay closest to their employees? See the answers below...

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  • Trends in Tips

    Tips are a way of life for many service industry jobs. In fact, for some jobs tips make up over 50 percent of a worker's total take-home pay. During tough economic times these workers often suffer from a decrease in their tips, both due to a decrease in consumerism and to a decrease in generosity.

    This is exactly what we found in our Tipping Study in 2009 -- the year after the beginning of The Great Recession, tips on average fell. However, the opposite is often true during good times. Tips rise as consumers feel their budgets loosen, causing both an increase in consumerism and a potential increase in generosity.

    Today PayScale released our sixth annual Tipping Study, which highlights over 90 jobs that receive tips, the typical amount of these tips, the percent of total take-home pay from tips and the frequency of tips.

    Do you work in a job where pay is dominated by tips and curious about how your pay compares to others like you? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • Time to Ask for a Raise? What the PayScale Index Says

    PayScale recently released the Q3 2011 PayScale Index. The PayScale Index tracks pay trends by location, industry and job category. A salary index that says how much pay has changed in the last year seems like a great source for figuring out if you should ask for a raise. But, how should you use it?

    The PayScale Index is part of what you need to ask for a salary increase, but not everything. In this post, we will discuss how to figure out whether you are due a raise.

    Before you can ask for a raise, you need to know what you are worth. Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • Recent College Graduates' Pay Down in 2011

    As part of the research for the 2010-2011 PayScale College Salary Report, we looked at the pay trends of recent college graduates and found startling results.

    With the unemployment rate for college graduates at 4.3% in August, less than half the national average, you would think the strong demand would translate into higher wages.

    While the graduates of some schools continue to bring in the big bucks, and overall earnings of bachelor's graduates are substantially higher than high school grads, the data show that all is not well in the market of recent college graduates.

    College degree or not, are you being paid what you are worth? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • PayScale College Salary Report: Top Schools for 2011

    Recently we released the 2011-2012 PayScale College Salary Report. There are dozens of different topics in this report: top schools for mid- or early career earnings, majors that pay, top state universities, schools that produce the highest fraction of CEOs, and the list goes on.

    In this post, I'll look at some of the interesting facts and and trends behind the numbers. Are wages for college grads going up or down? Which schools top the list for 2011, and how do their graduates' earnings compare with a earnings last year and back in 2008, when we first did this annual report?

    Whether you are a graduate of a top university or just an average one, what really matters is, are you earning what you are worth? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • Why We'd Rather Be in Canada: Wages Up

    With the release of the second quarter (Q2) 2011 PayScale Index, we added tracking of national pay trends for Canada. The striking difference is how much better Canadian wages have bounced back from the recession than in the United States.

    In this blog post, we will look at Canadian trends in pay over the last 5 years, and see what the PayScale data about Canadian wages through the first six months of 2011 tell us about how the demand for workers is recovering.

    Finally, we will look at other economic measures, like unemployment and gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Canada, and see if Canadian workers' wages are subject to the same supply and demand forces we have been seeing in the PayScale Index for the United States.

    National pay trends are interesting, but are wages for your job trending up? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • Top IT Employers

    We recently released a story comparing IT Employers across several factors, such as typical pay, stress levels, typical age, gender breakdown, etc.

    There are some similarities across the employers (e.g. they pay well compared to the typical U.S. employer, they offer generally more flexible schedules, etc.), however there are some stark differences. For example, the median age of IBM workers is 44, while those at Facebook have a median age of 26 and boasts the youngest workforce among top IT companies.

    Are you in the IT world and wondering if you are earning what you are worth? Find out with a free PayScale Salary Report.

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  • Healthcare Hotspots

    Today we published a ranking of the Top 10 Healthcare Hotspots. How did we determine these you ask? Well being salary experts, we of course factored in the median pay of healthcare jobs in these metros, but we also factored in the relative prevalence of healthcare jobs in these metros compared to the national average.

    Therefore, the top healthcare hotspots are determined by both typical pay levels and typical employment levels. Read on to learn more about the top healthcare hotspots and find out who the winner is.

    Are you in healthcare and wondering if you are earning what you are worth? Find out with PayScale's comprehensive and accurate salary survey.

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  • College is Not Always a Good Investment

    Today, we released our annual study with Bloomberg BusinessWeek on the return on investment (ROI) in education for 691 bachelor's degree granting schools.

    As college costs continue to rise, the justification for paying these costs becomes ever more important. What better justification is there but a measure of their future payoff? In other words, is attending college a good investment in terms of the pay increase it offers over a high school degree?

    The PayScale ROI study helps to answer this question, but the answer is not a simple yes or no. Whether attending college is a good investment or not depends upon many factors, such as the cost incurred, graduation rates at the school, major choice, and the typical pay of the school's graduates.

    In this post I will briefly discuss the methodology of the study, how it changed from last year, and some key insights from the data.

    Whether you went to college or not, are you earning what you are worth? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • Pay Goes Nowhere after 40

    In a recent project with blogger/career guru Penelope Trunk, we examined the age at which salaries top out. It turns out pay goes essentially nowhere after age 40. Of course there are some differences across gender, degree level and jobs, but the real lesson is don't expect a raise of any real value in the 25 or so years before retirement.

    In this post I will discuss some interesting insights from the data, as well as how the age at which pay growth stops differs across various worker characteristics.

    Are you earning what you are worth, given your experience, degrees, location and other critical factors that affect your pay? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • Salary Madness: NCAA Brackets by Salary

    It's the Monday after Selection Sunday, which means we now know the NCAA division I basketball teams heading to the big dance. As everyone gets ready to fill out their brackets, we here at PayScale wish to offer an alternative method to determining who will take home the top honors.

    What if the pay of a university's graduates predicts how well the school will do in the tournament? You might think this is a weird question, but it turns out our method won the tournament last year. Using this method, we chose Duke as the winner and as all you basketball fans know, Duke in fact beat Butler 61-59.

    Check out our bracket this year, where we predict Princeton to be the winner based on the salary of its alumni/alumnae.

    Is your salary a top seed or just barely making the play-in game? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • PayScale Index: What is an Index Anyway?

    We at PayScale recently released the Q4 2010 results for the PayScale Index. See a previous blog post describing the Index and another one that compares the PayScale Index to other common measures of labor market health.

    However, a common question posed by our readers in response to our release was, "What is an Index?" Or in other words, "What do the numerical values actually measure?"

    In simple terms, an index tracks changes in a variable from some baseline time period. In terms of the PayScale Index, the variable we are tracking is the total cash compensation for full-time private industry employees in the U.S and the baseline year is 2006.

    In this post I will further discuss what an index measures, how it is calculated and compare the PayScale Index to another commonly used index, the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Understanding how we measure changes in compensation over time is interesting, but so is understanding your place in the current labor market. Find out where you are with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • The PayScale Index: Are Wages Going Up or Down?

    Today PayScale released the Q4 2010 results for the PayScale Index. For people who missed our first release in October, and my blog post describing the PayScale Index, the PayScale Index tracks how the market price of private sector full-time employees, as represented by the wages they are paid, changes over time.

    In this post, I'll look at our results for 2010, and then compare the PayScale Index with three common measures of labor market health: the Unemployment Rate, median Usual Weekly Earnings, and the Employment Cost Index. While each is different from the PayScale Index, they are all trying to get at the same thing: how is the labor market in the US doing?

    National trends are interesting, but what is your market price? In about 5 minutes you can find out what you are worth with the comprehensive PayScale salary survey.

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  • Tipping Etiquette: Who should you tip and how much?

    During the holiday season, the notion of tipping those who provide you service becomes a hot topic. However, it is important to remember that tips are a year-round affair for many. The questions that plague most people are: "Who do I tip?" and "How much do I tip them?"

    Fear not, for PayScale is to the rescue. We recently released our 5th annual Tipping Study that answers these questions and then some. In this post, I will highlight interesting results from our study, as well as detail the methodology.

    Do you work in a job where tips are commonplace and are wondering how your pay fares? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • Political Winners and Losers

    Does it pay to be in Congress? According to our recent study, yes it does! By using our extensive salary database, we at PayScale compared the pay earned by Congress Members and Obama's Cabinet to the typical pay they could earn based on their educational background (School attended, Highest Degree Obtained, and Year Graduated).

    Over 90% of the 552 people studied earn a federal government pay that is higher than the typical pay for those with the same educational background. In fact, over a third of the members of Congress earn a pay that is at least double the typical pay for those with the same educational background.

    In this post I will discuss the methodology of this study and some interesting highlights, including who are the salary winners and who are the salary losers.

    Are you a salary winner? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • Tracking Changes in US Pay: The PayScale Index

    Today PayScale released the first quarterly report on The PayScale Index. The PayScale Index tracks how the market price of workers, as represented by the wages they are paid, is changing over time. We believe The PayScale Index provides the most accurate view on changes in what employees are earning amidst this turbulent economy.

    The PayScale Index follows changes in total cash compensation for full-time, private industry employees in the United States, and utilizes a unique approach to trend measurement. Unlike indices such as the Consumer Price Index, which measures the prices of certain goods and services (periodically updated to reflect changes in buying habits of Americans), The PayScale Index uses data on all private sector full-time employees working in a given time period.

    In this post, after a brief summary of how The PayScale Index works, I will hit some of the most interesting results we found. Some you expect, e.g., Detroit pay has been collapsing for years; other findings may be more surprising, like wages nationally declined in 2009.

    Knowing how pay is changing is useful, but knowing what you are worth is more important. Find out with PayScale's comprehensive and accurate salary survey.

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  • Do You Have One of America's Best Jobs?

    We recently completed our annual project with CNN/Money Magazine that ranks the 100 Best Jobs in America. These jobs were determined by numerous factors, including pay, job growth, estimated employment levels, and various quality-of-life factors, such as job security.

    The top jobs are a mix: some allow a lot of schedule flexibility (Software Architect), some require more training and education than that provided by a bachelor's degree (Physician Assistant), and some make the world a better place (Environmental Engineer).

    In this post, I will discuss changes from last year's report and some interesting insights from this year's data, including which jobs have the least stressed workers and which offer the most long-term job security, two issues near and dear to many current employees.

    Do you have one of America's Best Jobs, and are wondering if you are earning top dollar? Find out with a free PayScale salary report.

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  • College Grad Salaries: Which School and Major Pays?

    In partnership with CNN/Money, PayScale has produced its annual College Salary Report for 2010. Unlike the more subtle 2010 PayScale College Return on Investment (ROI) Report, this report answers four simple questions:

    • What do bachelor's graduates with a particular major earn, both early in their career and at mid-career?
    • What do bachelor's graduates of a school earn, both early in their career and at mid-career?

    This year, the report includes an analysis of 999 US schools and 120 majors, up from 598 schools and 75 majors last year, and now covers schools with over 80% of all enrolled bachelor's degree students.

    Working on this report, I am always amazed at the diversity of higher education in the US. Read on to learn about the top majors and schools this year, including some surprising changes from last year.

    Are you earning what you are worth, given the degrees, experience, responsibilities, location and other critical factors that affect your pay? Find out with PayScale's comprehensive and accurate salary survey.

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