Business Basics for AuthorsPublishing Fear Free

Publishing Pay Raises vs. Inflation Rates

Publishers Weekly has a brief article based on something called the “salary survey” that states average pay raises for publishing employees:

The average pay raise for publishing employees in 2013 was 2.8%, according to PW’s just-concluded salary survey. The percentage increase last year was the same as in 2012, when the survey also found that pay had risen by 2.8%.

Read the full story.

This short blurb of an article teases the findings from the full survey in an upcoming issue.

Whenever pay raise numbers are discussed, it’s important to take into account the rate of inflation. As you may have noticed, stuff seems to get more expensive every year. That’s because, most of the time, it does.

If your raise is less than the rate of inflation, you are effectively taking a pay cut. Without taking into account the rate of inflation, these numbers are meaningless.

What do these raises really mean?

  • In 2013, the cost of living increased by 1.5 percent. (Math: 2.8-1.5=1.3 percent) So the average raise was effectively 1.3 percent.
  • In 2102, the cost of living increased by 2.1 percent. (Math: 2.8-2.1=.7 percent) That year, the average raise was effectively .7 percent.

Find more inflation rates here.

According to a survey of 900 companies described in USA Today, the average pay raise in 2012 and 2013 was 3 percent. The publishing industry falls just below the average. That article states:

A 3% increase would outpace the 1.3% to 1.8% inflation forecast for next year [2014] on Wednesday by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Don’t forget to take inflation into account when negotiating your next raise or salary.

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