• Walmart $1 Billion Investment Reaffirms Importance of Total Compensation

    By Tess Taylor, PayScale Senior Blogger and Mykkah Herner, PayScale Director of Compensation

    Everywhere you turn, there’s more news about big companies like Target, McDonald’s and TJ Maxx raising the minimum wage. But as any savvy professional knows, wages are only a piece of the total compensation puzzle. A stunning 1 billion dollar investment by Walmart affirms this fact.

  • SHRM15 Top 3 Takeaways: Big Data, HR Tech, and JHUD

    By Ken Roden, PayScale Senior Product Marketing Manager 

    We did it! What a great few (hot) days of sessions and networking at SHRM 2015 in Las Vegas.
  • Proposed California bill would prohibit employers’ nosy questions about pay

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    It’s not uncommon for employers to require job candidates to supply wage information as part of the application and hiring process. PayScale's eBook Communicating Compensation shares tips for making these types of conversations easier.

  • Bad Blood: Taylor Swift and Apple’s Compensation Controversy

    By Tim Low, Vice President of Marketing at PayScale

    Apple wanted Taylor Swift (and other influential musicians) on board with their new streaming music service, Apple Music. Taylor wanted to get paid.

  • Will recent pay increases for minimum wage workers affect those in higher earning brackets?

    Co-written by Mykkah Herner, PayScale Comp Specialist and Tess C.Taylor, Founder of HR Knows

    Around the nation, large corporations are taking the minimum wage issue to heart by instituting salary increases for their most underpaid workers.

    Companies like McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Target, and TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, have announced plans to raise wages by as much as $1 or more per hour, with more raises coming for the beginning of 2016. This is good news for the millions of entry-level and minimum wage workers who typically earn just above the poverty line in many U.S. states.
  • It’s not a skills gap, it’s a skills challenge

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    The height of the Great Recession brought talk of the skills gap front and center. As millions of job seekers took to the Internet to complain about boorish recruiters, clueless hiring managers, and broken hiring processes (including endless rounds of interviews), employers claimed they couldn’t find enough qualified workers to fill their job openings.

    Workers shot back that there were plenty of qualified candidates—employers were simply taking advantage of the slow economy to be overly demanding, ridiculously exclusive (no long-term unemployed or older workers need apply), and cheap. The term “purple squirrel” became a conversation staple.

  • PayScale Index shows wilting wages for STEM jobs


    Jade Makana, Director of Content Marketing B2B

    Is the bloom off the STEM rose? According to the new PayScale Index, wages for previously hot performing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs grew just 1.0% annually, experiencing the lowest wage growth in any category. In fact, wages for STEM jobs have been relatively stagnant for months.

    So is it time to stop offering your engineer candidates’ top dollar? Not necessarily. This slow-down is more of a reflection of STEM’s hot streak growth in 2014, versus a testament to the decline of the industry. “After incredible growth, the industry is kind of taking a breather this quarter,” said Tim Low, PayScale Vice President of Marketing. In fact, even with this decline, these jobs are still near the top for wage growth since 2006 (approximately 10 percent), due to remarkable growth for several years.

  • McDonald’s employees not exactly “loving” planned benefit and wage increases

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Last week, McDonald’s announced it will increase benefits and raise wages for 1,500 employees in its company-owned stores.

    Nearly 90,0000 workers will receive paid time off, educational assistance, and an additional $1 an hour over the federal minimum. These changes are slated to take effect July 1, 2015.

  • Will Apple’s wage increase for drivers close the gap between the haves and the have-nots?

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Amidst all the talk about how nobody needs unions anymore comes what many would say is a major union victory.

    Earlier this month, Apple announced it will be initiating major improvements to the wage and benefits programs of its 150 commuter drivers (i.e., the drivers who shuttle Apple employees back and forth to work). The drivers had already agreed to be represented by the Teamsters Union.

    It seems that even Apple, an industry giant by any standards, is beginning to realize that if they're not paying their workers, someone else will.

  • Everybody’s got questions about Zappos and surge pay

    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Earlier this year, news broke that Zappos had begun experimenting with surge pay for its call center employees.

    Adopting the idea from taxi service Uber, Zappos hopes the new compensation structure will incentivize employees to work when customer demand is highest, such as in the early hours of the weekdays on the east coast or during the early hours in Las Vegas, where Zappos is headquartered. Under the new system, more demanding shifts equal higher pay.

  • Big retailers raise the bar with across-the-board wage increases

    In a bold move, several big retail chains announced they’d be increasing worker wages this spring from the federal minimum wage. Among retailers so far are Walmart, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and other TJX stores.

    No doubt this announcement is part of an effort to boost the image of the retail industry while attracting and retaining employees with better compensation. It’s no surprise this effort follows a wave of highly publicized organized worker protests and lawsuits claiming these markets take advantage of cheap labor. 

  • 5 compensation and workforce trends for 2015

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    A 2014 survey released by PayScale revealed some interesting information about compensation and workforce trends. PayScale surveyed over 4,700 companies of all sizes throughout several different industries in several different countries (although a majority of them were in the United States). Much of the information collected implied that a majority of businesses are doing well and looking to maintain or grow in 2015. Employers reported having plans to expand the workforce, achieve better financial performance, and give raises.

  • HR tech company dazzles investors

    new in hrtech image

    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    New technology doesn’t solve all our problems, but man does it make life easier! Sure, we complain about people always having their faces in their phones, but you have to admit that navigating before Google Maps was mission impossible.

  • The post-recession struggle to retire continues in America

    Retirement in America Image

    Most individuals go into a career hoping they will earn enough in their lifetime to retire comfortably someday. It's part of the American Dream. Smart people start saving early on; others take on second careers to save up extra cash. Still, for a growing number of people, the struggle to live on a fixed income is increasing.

  • The Minimum Wage Victory Parade Continues


    Tessara Smith, PayScale

    Just when you thought Seattle approving $15 was the highlight of the minimum wage battle this year, it was announced that employees who work under independent contracts are also getting a pay day. On June 12, 2014 President Obama initiated the first of many executive actions to come that will boost minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. This is exciting news for contractors, who will now be properly reclassified as employees in the eyes of the government, but it is only small part of a much larger effort to increase minimum wages for all workers within the United States.

  • How does the changing minimum wage affect your compensation strategy?


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    There has been a lot of talk about increasing the minimum wage, at the federal, state, and city levels. In Seattle, headquarters of PayScale, we just passed an ordinance increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour within 3-7 years depending on employer size. Of course there has been debate on both sides of the law. Can small business owners afford to absorb the increase? What will happen to the people we used to pay at $15/hour? But also, how can Seattle call itself a forward-thinking city if the minimum wage is not a livable wage? I probably should have been born a Libra because I fundamentally understand both sides.

  • Rewind: World at Work 2014 Total Rewards Conference


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    I recently returned from World at Work’s Total Rewards Conference: Evolve. It’s always helpful to hear what our fellow industry leaders have to say about compensation trends, how they’re handling the challenges of 2014, and what up and coming best/next practices are on the horizon. PayScale’s cohort was able to attend 25 different sessions in the conference this year, after each session comparing notes to determine the session winner: who had the best session with the most content and the most engaging presenters.


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