Labor Pains

Market poised to get worse, report says

It’s not exactly shocking, the recent news from the Conference Board predicting that we’ll see “greater deterioration in the labor market in the months ahead, and that the unemployment rate will continue to rise sharply well into 2009.” (See www.conference-board.org/economics/employment.cfm for the full release.)

But the fact it’s no surprise doesn’t make the prospect any less scary.

“The economic developments of the last two months made it clear to businesses that demand for goods and services in the U.S. is declining, and businesses are responding by aggressively slashing their payrolls,” said Conference Board senior economist Gad Levanon. “Unfortunately, it seems this environment will persist for several more quarters and business leaders will continue to reduce their workforce.”

As we prepared to publish QP’s extensive annual salary survey results, it became clear that next year’s numbers may not look nearly as rosy as this year’s, which showed significant salary increases (the mean salary increased from $79,735 in 2007 to $81,357 in 2008).

While we can anticipate that salary freezes, dried-up bonuses and scaled-back benefits will take their toll on 2009 compensation, it’s still a good idea to sit down with this year’s results and find out exactly where you stand compared to your peers.

You’ll find an insightful article by statistician I. Elaine Allen to lead off the salary survey findings that reveals trends and influencers of salary: ASQ membership, supervisory responsibilities and consulting status among them. Put the information to use in defining the career path that suits you best.

We are proud to bring you the most comprehensive report on salary available to quality professionals today. There’s so much information, in fact, it would be impossible to pack it all into the magazine. You’ll find 19 more sections on our new Salary Survey page, and you can access all the results year-round—just click on “Salary Survey” under the Tools and Resources tab.

You’ll also find links to all of ASQ’s other career resources, including the QP archive of Career Corner columns, and Career Services, where you can browse job opportunities with top companies.

With tough times upon us, and even tougher ones ahead, information and preparation can be your best allies.

It’s hard to deny the absence of quality in the financial industry that contributed to the U.S. credit crisis. But could quality have prevented the collapse? Check out our new column, Perspectives, for one opinion.  

Seiche Sanders


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