Lots of Workers Are Still Getting Raises

Despite the rise in unemployment, increased productivity is protecting pay hikes in many sectors

When a downturn hits, companies cut costs like a helium balloonist ditching ballast to avoid an ocean landing. In the 2001 recession, U.S. corporations slashed capital spending and cut millions of jobs. Curiously, though, one thing didn't suffer -- pay raises. In the first quarter, wages and salaries after inflation rose at a strong annual rate of 2.8%. That's a bigger inflation-adjusted gain than in any calendar year of the 1990s.

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