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USA Today reports this morning that American workers should expect only the "modest" salary increases in 2004, no matter how much lip service is given to an economic turnaround.

Even after 2003 provided the lowest pay increases in three decades, according to several surveys the average employee increase next year will be about 3.6 percent. Bonuses are expected to be down as well, to under nine percent. And another survey suggested that only 10 percent of polled forms planned to even give raises between now and the end of the year.
KC's View:
If you'll recall, we also had a story recently about how many employees plan to jump ship as soon as the economy recovers and provides greater opportunity.

No wonder.

Employers who don't respect the fact that their employees are their prime asset, and instead treat them like liabilities on the balance sheet, are making a serious and long-term mistake.

That doesn’t mean that you have to go broke paying people more money when revenues are down. But there have to be ways - some of them economic - to make people feel fulfilled, appreciated, and well compensated.