November 30, 2009
Published estimates of the change in wages and salaries for all sales and related workers have been negative for each of the three quarters in 2009, reflecting the substantial declines among incentive-paid sales workers.
The 12-month percent change in wages and salaries for sales and related workers, excluding incentive-paid workers, has been positive throughout 2009, while the 12-month percent change among all sales workers in the first three quarters of 2009 was ‑0.9, ‑1.8, and ‑0.7, respectively.
In late 2006 and early 2007, the published estimates of wage increases for all sales workers and time-based sales workers were similar. Since the latter half of 2007, however, the two data series have diverged. Since December 2008, the gap between the two series has been statistically significant.
Incentive workers make up nearly 20 percent of the sales worker category. The influence of slow wage growth—and, more recently, wage declines—for these workers can be seen in the gap in the chart.
These data are from the Employment Cost Trends program. To learn more, see "The Effect of Incentive Pay on Rates of Change in Wages and Salaries" Compensation and Working Conditions Online, November 2009.