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Work Shift
Modern Management

Workers Have High Hopes for Pay Hikes Next Year. Perhaps Too High

Employees have been able to call the shots for a while in a tight labor market, but that’s starting to change as layoffs mount, uncertainty spreads and firms adjust their salary budgets for next year 

Pedestrians walk along Wall Street in New York. 

Pedestrians walk along Wall Street in New York. 

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

The pay negotiation season is looking increasingly fraught this year as workers fret about 8% inflation — and their job security.

While the labor market remains tight, evidenced by last month’s better-than-expected increases in both jobs and wages, employers are gaining back some leverage just in time for the tough conversations between bosses and employees to begin. This week Goldman Sachs Inc. said smaller bonuses and job cuts are coming while the running tally of tech layoffs hit 52,771 in November, the highest monthly total for the sector since Challenger, Gray & Christmas began keeping detailed industry data in 2000.