Salary Raises: Understanding Cost of Living vs. Merit Pay Increases

I have been looking at pay raises lately, and one thing I have been struggling with is how HR managers talk about raises.

For example, a recent question on an HR discussion board was whether companies should give cost of living adjustments (COLAs) or "merit" increases.

In this post, I'll cover what HR means by COLAs and merit raises, and then discuss why this is not really the right way to talk about pay and raises.

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