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Another Cafe contributor, Chris Dobyns, has also raised the point that even within a salary structure segment (e.g., exempt professional), some jobs may be moving at significantly different rates than others. Simply looking at the aggregated projected increase does not tell the tale and even further distorts the reality.

Perhaps when surveys started reporting the projected increases there was a more compelling rationale or hypothesis for including the data.

Agreed. How other companies may be setting their structures is completely irrelevant. I have ignored that data point for 30 years, and frankly submitting that data to surveys receives scant attention.

What survey vendors need to ask is, Are you planning to make any significant structure adjustments, and why? That would yield some insight into to what extent companies may be materially altering structures to meet market demands.

I think one of the tough things that survey administrators deal with is response rate. They go from a relevant question that an insignificant amount of people will take the time to answer (what premiums are you setting for segments of your positions?) to a tangentially relevant (if not irrelevant) question that's much easier to answer (ergo will keep response rates high).

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