Survey: Employee Wages Are Plummeting, Outsourcing Increases

Barb Wire

A survey of Harvard Business School alumni reveals that respondents are convinced we’re entering a period of major wage stagnation and decreased benefits, the Washington Examiner reports.

While prospects look dim for employees, executives are seeing record bonuses and an economy slowly recovering. Median executive compensation, on the other hand, peaked at $10.5 million dollars last year for a top executive at a publicly-traded company and is expected to rise. Last year, 58 percent of executives said the U.S. economy was in danger of becoming less competitive, but this year, that number has dropped to just below 50 percent.

However, most executives still believe that purchasing more technology is more valuable than educating employees. A sizeable 46 percent said they would rather invest in more technology, while only 25 percent would prefer to invest in employee education. An additional 49 percent prefer outsourcing as a viable alternative to hiring native employees.

Outsourcing and part-time employees are skyrocketing in popularity, but alumni still say that one of their biggest concerns is finding skilled workers for the job. Pre-recession median income levels for regular employees are expected not to rise, but to decrease. This helps to explain falling unemployment rates. In order to make up the slack, companies are just hiring part-time employees.

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“The bleak picture facing middle and working class Americans are the canary in our coal mine,” said Jan Rivkin, a Harvard business professor, and one of the survey’s authors. “Eventually, that will come back to haunt business.”

“One way to think about it: The ship is sinking more slowly,” Rivkin added.

The second survey of its kind was composed of 1,947 Harvard Business School graduates between the ages of 26 and 98. Around 40 percent of the sample had ‘executive’ in their job title.

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