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Workers are Earning 13% Less Than They Could Be: One Common Mistake May be the Cause

  • A surprising number of American employees are paid significantly less than what they’re actually worth.
  • The pay disparity is often the result of skill-sets out-pacing supply in the current job market.
  • Many job applicants accept the initial salary offer without first negotiating, resulting in less pay.

Have you ever wondered if you could be earning more than what you make at your current job? According to new salary data from Glassdoor, you probably could. Based on information from the Know Your Worth™  salary estimator, Glassdoor determined that the average worker in the U.S. could be making $7,528, or 13.3%, more per year than their current annual base salary.

Why is this so? For one, “we’re in the best labor market we’ve seen in a generation,” according to Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist. “With the job market full of opportunities and the economy hitting full employment, the value of skilled workers has increased. We see this even more in industries like technology and healthcare, in which demand for competitive skill-sets outpaces supply.”

The challenge, however, is that too few employees are aware of their increased market value and are using that data to their advantage. In fact, Glassdoor found that 3 in 5 U.S. employees did not negotiate on their pay level when offered a job, and those rates are even lower among particular groups: for instance 68% of women accepted a salary offer without negotiating compared to 52% of men.

“The big takeaway for job seekers is that our Know Your Worth tool can shed light on your current market value, based in part on market conditions where you live, to help you decide whether it’s time to negotiate your pay,” Chamberlain said — so if you haven’t yet gotten your free, personal salary estimate, there’s no time like the present.

In addition to helping you assess your market value, Glassdoor has also made it easier for workers to earn what they deserve by introducing an improved, customized salaries experience. Workers can now research salary data for a particular position in a specific location and then filter the search by years of experience, industry, and company size.

While pay rate isn’t everything when it comes to job satisfaction (with some people prioritizing values, professional opportunities or trust in leadership) it is a major factor that anyone should negotiate when applying for a job. If you notice that your current pay is out of sync with the Know Your Worth estimate, you might consider initiating a salary discussion with your recruiter, supervisor, HR department, or whoever else determines compensation at your place of work. Who knows how much money you could be leaving on the table?

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Emery Reddy