umb skin1 Web Content Viewer

umb skin2 Actions

Many Americans feel underpaid

Date posted:  5/20/14 10:30:00 AM A large portion of Americans feel underpaid at work.

In a recent interview with Roll Call, an online newspaper covering Capitol Hill, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said that members of Congress are underpaid and can't bear the expense to live comfortably in the national's capitol.

"Our pay has been frozen for three years and we're planning on freezing it a fourth year," Moran said. "A lot of members can't even afford to live decently in Washington."

Members of Congress currently take home $174,000 per year, according to The Washington Post.

"I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid," Moran said. "I understand that it's widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world."

Many Americans feel underpaid
Moran is part of the growing club of workers that feel under appreciated and underpaid.

A recent survey from Glassdoor.com, an employment review site, revealed that 39 percent of employees feel they aren't being compensated properly for the work they put in at their current job.

While 33 percent of men feel they are underpaid, 42 percent of female employees believe they are not receiving proper wages. 
That statistic should not come as a surprise. Montana news station KAJ-TV reported that the average female employee makes 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.

Economy still struggling


There isn't much anyone can do about being underpaid while the economy is still struggling to get back to pre-recession levels. Options are still limited and the unemployment rate, although dropping, is still much higher than the government would like to see.

While most people tend to be quiet about money and how much they take home from work, sites such as Glassdoor are opening the eyes of employees around the country because it's much easier to find out how much people are earning from a certain employer.

"If employers think employees don't have a sense of how they are paid in relationship to their peers, then they are naive," Rusty Rueff, a career workplace expert at Glassdoor, told CBS MoneyWatch.

Meanwhile, many companies are against the transparency of sites such as Glassdoor and hope to keep salary and wages mysterious. According to KAJ​-TV, there's a major notion going on amongst large corporations that transparency restricts a company's ability to negotiate. It's much harder for employees to ask for a raise if they don't know what their peers are making.

Money is a major factor for most employees, but many workers claim they would be open to receiving compensation in other avenues if salaries would remain flat. Glassdoor reported roughly 60 percent of workers said they'd be happy if they received more paid vacation days, a surprising statistic being since the average American only used half of their vacation time.

About 50 percent of workers wanted more career opportunities and flexible work hours.

CEOs are making hay
Glassdoor noted another hot topic among employees is the pay gap between executives and the average worker.

Around 50 percent said they believe the financial discrepancy between top executives and company underlings is getting worse.

Rueff said the feeling of being underpaid is made worse by "seeing the fat cats getting more money."

"It wasn't that long ago when you sat down and people talked about a pay increase of 6 to 7 percent," he said. "It's been a long time since people saw that type of increase."