Wage Administration and Job Rate Ranges

by Walter Fogel



This article focuses on the job rate ranges. The existence of rate ranges, their characteristics, and their rationales take on added importance as they affect labor costs and employees consumption and savings patterns. Job rate ranges, like political extremists, are very much in evidence but are rarely explained satisfactorily. Range discussions are usually given a few pages in wage and salary books and wage administration manuals, but the treatment is always descriptive. The importance of job rate ranges can easily be missed. Wage administrators, pressing for formal programs, sometimes argue that ranges merely provide suggested wage rates and boundaries. The limited inquiries that have been made into wage progression under formal wage programs do not support these arguments. Under both length of service and merit progression, according to a recent study, suggested rates and progression become actual for all but a few employees. Rate ranges exist whenever two or mare wage rates may be paid to nonlearner incumbents of a given job. This definition purposely excludes wage structures which pay a learner rate. Learner rates are more properly thought of as providing employee performance variation after minimal training requirements have been met.

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