Here’s Why You’re Not Making More Money
Life + Money

Here’s Why You’re Not Making More Money


A survey by the American Psychological Association last year found that about half of American workers feel they aren’t adequately compensated for their contributions at work.

That’s not exactly shocking. If you’ve paid any attention at all to the election campaign, it’s probably more surprising that about half feel that their pay is fair. But while politicians and economists debate stagnant wages and financial insecurity, a new survey from Glassdoor provides a reminder of a small step individual workers — or at least some of us — can try to win higher pay: Ask for it.

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The new survey found that 59 percent of workers said they accepted the first salary offer presented by a new employer and didn’t attempt to negotiate a higher salary. Among those who did negotiate, one in 10 were able to secure more money. Those aren’t great odds, but they’re certainly better than you’d get by not negotiating.

The survey results confirmed previous study findings that men are more likely to negotiate than women and that they’re more successful at doing so. Nearly 70 percent of women failed to negotiate, and just 4 percent of them received more money.

By comparison, almost half of men negotiated and 15 percent of them nabbed a higher salary. The disparity may partly explain the much documented pay gap between American male and female workers.

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The likelihood of negotiating also varied by age. Two-thirds of workers ages 45-54 accepted the salary as offered, compared to 60 percent of millennial workers.

The report did not look at whether workers negotiated other benefits that come with a job. For some employees, flexible work time or a specific title might help offset a lower salary.

Even as the job market has strengthened in recent years, wage growth remains largely stalled. Wages for civilian workers grew by 2 percent over the 12 months through March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.