Amid booming economy, entry-level workers see real-wage decline

05 October 2018

According to new analysis from human resources consultancy Korn Ferry, entry-level professionals and clerical workers at organizations have seen their real wages actually decline over the last decade. Meanwhile, mid-level and senior-level employees saw their wages increase.

LA-based Korn Ferry analyzed inflation-adjusted US employee pay data in the ten years since the Great Recession. The study analyzed data from 5.5 million employees in almost 2,000 companies across a range of industries.

The Korn Ferry study found that, adjusted for inflation, clerical and entry-level professional make an average 2.3% less than they did in 2008. The average inflation adjusted wake for clerical/entry-level workers actually declined from $46,886 in 2008 to $45,882. That means that the mostly millennial workers who occupy junior positions can afford even less avocado on toast than they could a decade ago.

The depressing finding comes amid a labor market that is closing in on full employment, after 10 years of economic expansion. And those real wages aren’t likely to increase in the future as the American economy comes to the end of its business cycle, reaching the inevitable economic contraction/recession. Mercer’s head of asset allocation, Rupert Watson, expects a “material slowdown at the back end of 2019 into 2020.”
Amid booming economy, entry-level workers see real-wage declineMeanwhile, mid-level professionals and senior managers saw their real wages increase. Mid-level professional salaries grew 2.4%, from $83,310 (2008) to $85,332 (2018), while senior management salaries grew 5.7%, from $151,594 in 2008 to $160,292 in 2018. In an organizational context, the gap between rich and poor within companies grew wider, not unlike the accelerating trend of wealth inequality in the United States. The senior manager’s base salary has gone up, while his assistant or secretary’s wages have declined.

Commenting on the study, Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner Tom McMullen said, “Even though we’ve seen significant growth in the economy since the recession, salaries have barely kept up with inflation, and in the case of lower-level employees, we have actually seen real-wage decreases since 2008. While there are only slight increases for mid-level professionals and senior managers, we do see higher wage growth for those levels due to the demand for specialized, skilled employees.”

Jared Bernstein, an economist and former advisor to Joe Biden, relates that the real hourly wage for the working class in general has been essentially flat for two years. The wages of factory workers and non-managers in the service sector (82% of the labor force) have stagnated while consumer prices have climbed. Bernstein points to businesses increasing profits at labor’s expense, characterized by weakened unions and empowered corporations.

According to a report from Pew Research, real wages for non-management private sector workers (and the purchasing power therein) have remained just about stagnant since 1978. Meanwhile, the wage gains that have occurred have largely gone to the highest earners. Since 2000, usual weekly wages of the (lowest) 10th percentile of earners has risen 3%, while those in the 90th percentile (top 10%) have seen their real wages increase by $15.7%.


Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO

18 April 2019

London-based global leadership consultancy YSC has appointed Eric Pliner as its new CEO, replacing Robert Sharrock, who held the role for five years. Pliner, previously the firm’s Americas leader, will remain based in New York City.

For 30 years, YSC Consulting has been providing leadership advisory services to clients across a wide range of industries. The firm provides services in the areas of leadership strategy, performance, research, and analytics. YSC also has offerings in organizational leadership and CEO & board advisory. The firm’s approach is grounded in the behavioral sciences, allowing clients to better align business strategy and leadership.

In 2017, Graphite Capital complete a private equity investment in the firm, which has allowed YSC to continue its rapid expansion across the globe. Today, the firm has 19 offices across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions, staffed by 225 professionals with backgrounds in clinical psychology and organizational behavior, among other areas.

YSC’s incumbent CEO, Robert Sharrock, will now move into the roles of managing director of YSC’s board and CEO of the advisory practice. Sharrock had previously indicated that he would move into a client-facing role following one year of results after the private equity infusion.Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO


 “Having achieved the goals we established as a business during my tenure, I look forward to fully devoting my time to the client service areas of the business I find most rewarding, which is working directly with board members and CEOs,” Sharrock said. “I will also be offering my unreserved support to Eric and our global team as we continue to expand our distinctive business around the world.”

Eric Pliner, who has been with the firm since 2010, will step into the role of CEO. An expert in organizational behavior, talent management, and development, Pliner joined the firm as a senior consultant, working his way up to managing director and head of YSC Americas in 2014.

Prior to joining YSC, Pliner was director of organizational talent management & development at the NYC Department of Education, and was an adjunct instructor in the curriculum & teaching department at Hunter College in New York. He holds an MBA in management, organizational behavior, and human resources from the City University of New York – Baruch College.

“Robert has successfully led the business through five years of sustained growth and shaped the brand into a premier global leadership consultancy,” Pliner said. “I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead this iconic firm as we continue to serve world-class organisations in understanding and developing the critical leadership to achieve their future business strategies.

“Whether through individual executive assessment, pre-deal due diligence and post-deal integration for private equity transactions, design and execution of inclusive leadership and diversity strategy, coaching for senior executives and teams, resilient change leadership, and more, YSC’s global services are and will remain distinctive, characterful, and best-in-class,” he added.

Related: Ohio-based consultancy Change 4 Growth launches UK office