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November 14, 2007
Raises Not Keeping Pace With Cost of Living
Most pay raises for American workers are not covering the increase in cost of living. Meanwhile, most workers have no faith in the future of Social Security, according to a new American Payroll Association (APA) survey.

"Getting Paid in America," an online survey conducted among over 47,100 American workers to provide insight into how workers are paid in America, noted that the government increased Social Security benefits by 3.3 percent in 2007 to account for an increase in cost of living. It then asked respondents whether their most recent pay raise covered the increase in cost of living calculated by the government.

Just under 37 percent of respondents answered "Yes" while about 45 percent answered "No." Another 18 percent replied that they "Did not receive a pay raise." While these figures are not encouraging, they are favorable when compared to results of the 2006 "Getting Paid in America" survey, in which nearly 82 percent of respondents said that they did not receive pay increases to cover the increasing cost of living.

Last month, the Social Security Administration announced a 2.3 percent cost of living increase for 2008.

The "Getting Paid in America" survey also asked about the future of Social Security benefits. Noting that in 2008, the first baby boomers will reach age 62 and become eligible to receive Social Security benefits, the survey asked participants whether they thought Social Security benefits would still be available when the last baby boomers reach full retirement age (67) in 2031. More than two thirds (about 67 percent) replied "No" to this question.

The survey was held in conjunction with APA's annual public awareness campaign, National Payroll Week, held in September 2007.

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