Patty Goodwin, Director, Surveys
In July 1947, MSEC conducted its first survey collecting wage data for 30 positions from Senior Accountant and Draftsman to Stenographer and Mimeograph Operator. The average hourly wage for a Senior Accountant was $1.73; Draftsman $1.36; Stenographer $.88, and Mimeograph Operator $.72.
Of the 34 employees reported in the Senior Accountant position, 32 were men and two were women. I know what you’re going to ask next . . . how did the womens’ wages compare to the mens’? The lowest wage reported was $1.15 (woman) and 17 percent below the next lowest rate.
We also asked questions on working conditions and practices. It’s good to know that even in 1947, 100 percent of participating employers were providing paid vacations. The difference from then and now is how much time off is given. In 1947, 48 percent of employers gave one week after one year, 47 percent gave two weeks after one year, and 24 percent gave two weeks after five years. In the 2010 Paid Time Off Plans Survey, 56 percent of employers gave one week after six months of service and 77 percent gave two weeks after one year. We didn’t even ask about giving three weeks of vacation in 1947. Now, 93 percent of employers give three weeks after five years.
Over the years, MSEC has provided answers to many questions employers have—not just about salary data, insured benefits, or paid time off. We collect and publish metric data (e.g., turnover rates, compensation expense as a percent of total payroll, cost of benefits) and personnel practices (e.g., dress codes, employer sponsored programs, use of smartphones). Use of smartphones? We didn’t ask about that in 1947!
The newest service we provide is the Custom Survey Analysis provided to members FREE just for participating in our benefit and compensation surveys. With the analysis, organizations are able to compare their insured benefits, personnel practices, and salary data with organizations in their geographic location, industry type, or employment size. The compensation analysis also provides differentials between your data and other organizations. No more need for wondering “How do I compare to the market?” We’ve got the data for you!
The Surveys Department is here to help you, no matter what the question. And remember, if you can’t find what you need in our surveys, we will conduct a special survey for you at no charge. It’s part of your membership. Give us a call! Of course, you may have to sing “Happy Birthday” to us!