Tight labor market emboldens workers

If you're thinking about asking for a raise, you're not alone. A recent survey says more employees want higher salaries than before, even as pay increases outpace inflation. Here are some findings:

*In 1998, 41 percent of employees said they are very much underpaid for their work, compared with only 38 percent in 1997.

*In 1998, 43 percent of employees said their pay is as good or better than the pay in other organizations, compared with a high of 47 percent in 1997.

*37 percent of employees worry about being laid off, down from 44 percent in 1997.

Now could be the right time to ask for a pay increase. Skilled-worker shortages have caused companies to hike up salaries. And, despite increased layoffs nationwide, there's heightened job security as people who lose jobs find new ones faster.

Source: International Survey Research.

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