Pay for New Hires Is Shrivelling
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,581,977 (+0.10%)       Melbourne $970,512 (+0.23%)       Brisbane $885,023 (+0.03%)       Adelaide $813,016 (+0.20%)       Perth $760,003 (-0.11%)       Hobart $733,438 (-1.28%)       Darwin $643,022 (-0.79%)       Canberra $970,902 (+1.87%)       National $1,000,350 (+0.23%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $721,725 (+0.37%)       Melbourne $488,237 (-0.76%)       Brisbane $495,283 (+1.37%)       Adelaide $404,022 (-2.77%)       Perth $405,420 (-0.69%)       Hobart $498,278 (-1.60%)       Darwin $339,700 (-0.58%)       Canberra $480,910 (-0.04%)       National $502,695 (-0.26%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,626 (-230)       Melbourne 15,220 (+56)       Brisbane 8,417 (-24)       Adelaide 2,720 (-9)       Perth 6,897 (+56)       Hobart 1,234 (+5)       Darwin 281 (+5)       Canberra 1,079 (-30)       National 46,474 (-171)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,563 (-253)       Melbourne 8,007 (-12)       Brisbane 1,824 (-34)       Adelaide 493 (-16)       Perth 1,902 (-1)       Hobart 176 (+4)       Darwin 388 (-7)       Canberra 858 (+2)       National 22,211 (-317)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $775 (-$5)       Melbourne $570 ($0)       Brisbane $600 ($0)       Adelaide $580 (+$10)       Perth $625 (-$5)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $690 (-$10)       Canberra $680 ($0)       National $642 (-$2)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $730 ($0)       Melbourne $550 ($0)       Brisbane $625 ($0)       Adelaide $460 (+$10)       Perth $580 (+$5)       Hobart $460 (+$10)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $560 (-$5)       National $576 (+$2)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,654 (+231)       Melbourne 5,764 (+128)       Brisbane 4,271 (-9)       Adelaide 1,259 (+101)       Perth 1,944 (+50)       Hobart 337 (-36)       Darwin 168 (+19)       Canberra 647 (+18)       National 20,044 (+502)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 9,121 (+505)       Melbourne 6,022 (+34)       Brisbane 2,066 (+18)       Adelaide 366 (+1)       Perth 600 (-5)       Hobart 138 (-17)       Darwin 306 (+12)       Canberra 736 (+20)       National 19,355 (+568)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 2.55% (↓)       Melbourne 3.05% (↓)       Brisbane 3.53% (↓)     Adelaide 3.71% (↑)        Perth 4.28% (↓)     Hobart 3.90% (↑)        Darwin 5.58% (↓)       Canberra 3.64% (↓)       National 3.34% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.26% (↓)     Melbourne 5.86% (↑)        Brisbane 6.56% (↓)     Adelaide 5.92% (↑)      Perth 7.44% (↑)      Hobart 4.80% (↑)      Darwin 8.42% (↑)        Canberra 6.06% (↓)     National 5.96% (↑)             HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)      National 0.9% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 28.0 (↑)      Melbourne 29.2 (↑)        Brisbane 30.6 (↓)       Adelaide 23.8 (↓)     Perth 34.2 (↑)      Hobart 29.4 (↑)      Darwin 39.9 (↑)      Canberra 28.2 (↑)      National 30.4 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 29.4 (↑)      Melbourne 29.6 (↑)        Brisbane 30.3 (↓)       Adelaide 22.5 (↓)       Perth 39.2 (↓)     Hobart 26.1 (↑)        Darwin 36.1 (↓)     Canberra 34.4 (↑)        National 31.0 (↓)           
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Pay for New Hires Is Shrivelling

After years of salary increases, businesses across the economy say they’re reducing starting salaries for recruits

Wed, Aug 23, 2023 8:34amGrey Clock 4 min

Pay for new hires is starting to shrivel after years of hefty salary bumps, requiring workers to reset what financial gains to expect from switching to a new job.

Wages, especially for people who changed jobs, climbed in recent years as companies competed for workers to fill pandemic-induced labor shortages. Now, as the job market cools and businesses become more cautious in their hiring, many companies are paying new recruits less than they did just months ago—in some cases, much less.

Among postings for more than 20,000 job titles on ZipRecruiter’s site this year, the average pay for a majority of roles has declined from last year. Some of the steepest drops have been in technology, transportation and other sectors that experienced frenzied hiring sprees in 2021 and early 2022.

Chanteal Brayboy, 25 years old, has been seeking user-experience design roles since last summer, ever since finishing a design boot camp. At the time, layoffs had just begun to churn through the tech economy.

She’s since applied for more than 2,000 roles, and only gotten calls for a couple interviews. The posted salaries for the jobs she’s interested in, she says, have fallen around $10,000 from those advertised a year ago.

“The market is completely different now, companies know they can pay less,” says Brayboy, who lives in Kalamazoo, Mich.

A sharp reversal

The declines mark a stark turnaround from 2022, when compensation for three-quarters of advertised job titles rose from the year before, according to ZipRecruiter. In a July survey of about 2,000 employers conducted by the online hiring platform, nearly half said they had reduced pay for recent job openings.

Overall wage growth continues and it surpassed inflation in June for the first time in two years as consumer price increases slowed. Still, wage growth peaked last summer and has since declined to 5.7%, according to Labor Department figures.

Because new hires account for less than 4% of all employed workers each month, says Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, it can take a while for adjustments in their pay to show up in the federal data. The mass layoffs many large companies have conducted lately, particularly in tech, have helped push salaries for new hires downward, says Pollak.

“Other companies no longer face pressure to match these Meta-sized offers,” she says, referring to Facebook’s parent company.

It isn’t just white-collar roles that are feeling the crimp.

During the pandemic, the Unionville, Tenn., pizza restaurant where Valerie Breshears works as a delivery driver boosted wages to $13 an hour to draw new workers. More recently, Breshears discovered from newly hired staff that the restaurant’s starting pay had been lowered to $11 an hour.

“I felt bad for them,” says Breshears, 38. She didn’t tell them she and other workers who had been hired earlier were making more money.

‘Just not as competitive’

In Denver, where retail company Appliance Factory & Mattress Kingdom is based, the company has recently been hiring administrative workers for around $18 an hour. A year ago, the company was paying $20 an hour, says Chief Executive Chuck Ewing.

“There are more people looking for work now, it’s just not as competitive,” he says.

Data from Gusto, a payroll and benefits software company serving more than 300,000 small and midsize businesses, shows that pay rates for new hires are 5% lower than they were for new recruits for the same roles at this time last year. While professional-service roles have been most affected—pay rates for engineers and developers, for example, have dropped 18% in the past year—workers in other industries have also been hit.

More in-demand workers in certain industries continue to get pay bumps, says Gusto economist Luke Pardue. The company’s data shows pay in tourism and construction, for example, has continued to rise.

During the pandemic, the supply chain for workers was “horrifically broken,” says Laurie Chamberlin, the North America head of LHH Recruitment Solutions. Many workers sat on the job-market sidelines, and companies competed furiously to get them through the door.

“There was kind of an auction mentality,” she says. “People were paying extraordinary amounts without a whole lot of negotiating power or long-term view.”

That’s now over, Chamberlin says: “They’re saying holy cow, I’m paying this person a lot, and they’re not worth what I paid for them.” In addition to laying off workers, she says, businesses have become cautious about what they’re willing to pay for new recruits.

Back when Jennifer O’Halloran, 40, was looking for advertising roles in late 2021, she racked up 21 interviews in a matter of weeks. She quickly secured multiple competing job offers, including one from ad agency Dentsu for a media-buying supervisor role that would have paid $95,000 with a $5,000 signing bonus.

“It was insane, everyone wanted to talk to me,” recalls O’Halloran, who’s based in San Francisco.

She ended up choosing another company that offered her more money, a role she quit last summer. Earlier this year when job-hunting again, she reached back out to Dentsu. She learned that roles comparable to the one she’d previously been offered were now paying between $85,000 and $90,000, and with no signing bonus.

Dentsu declined to comment.

Too good to last

In Tampa, Fla., Meg Reilly, president at placement firm National Mortgage Staffing, says that salaries have dropped for a range of roles as the real-estate industry has slowed. For mortgage closers and underwriters, the drop has been as much as 30%. The fall has been precipitous, though many veteran candidates were primed to expect it.

“They knew it wasn’t a forever thing,” she says, of elevated salaries.

While employers have more leverage now on pay, they should tread carefully, says Marc Goldberg, CEO of Stages Collective, which specializes in recruiting for the ad tech industry.

“I advise my clients not to go down too far, because you’ll have a temporary employee,” he says. To control costs without alienating applicants, he says, companies are doing things like increasing performance incentives while reducing base salaries for certain roles, such as sales.

In Boston, Sherri Carpineto, 46, has been job-hunting since February, when she was laid off from her director role at a medical-device startup. Companies are conducting more drawn-out vetting processes, she says, including asking applicants to complete numerous sample work projects. Sometimes, they request test assignments even before she’s made it to the interview stage.

Carpineto, who has 20 years of experience in strategy and operations and is currently doing independent consulting, says the jobs she’s interested in, which are director-level or above, are paying around 20% less than what she was making at her old position. She’s noticed prospective employers are tending to combine more responsibilities and roles under one title.

“They’re paying less and asking more,” she says.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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Couples find that lab-grown diamonds make it cheaper to get engaged or upgrade to a bigger ring. But there are rocky moments.

Mon, Dec 11, 2023 4 min

Wedding planner Sterling Boulet has some advice for brides-to-be regarding lab-grown diamonds, which cost a fraction of the natural ones.

“If you’re trying to get your man to propose, they’ll propose faster if you offer this as an option,” says Boulet, of Raleigh, N.C. Recently, she adds, a friend’s fiancé “thanked me the next three times I saw him” for telling him about the cheaper lab-made option.

Man-made diamonds are catching on, despite some lingering stigma. This year was the first time that sales of lab-made and natural mined loose diamonds, primarily used as center stones in engagement rings, were split evenly, according to data from Tenoris, a jewellery and diamond trend-analytics company.

The rise of lab-made stones, however, is bringing up quirks alongside the perks. Now that blingier engagement rings—above two or three carats—are more affordable, more people are dealing with the peculiarities of wearing rather large rocks.

An engagement ring made with a lab-grown diamond at Ada Diamonds in New York City. PHOTO: CAM POLLACK/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Esther Hare, a 5-foot-11-inch former triathlete, sought out a 4.5-carat lab-made oval-shaped diamond to fit her larger hands as a part of her vow renewal in Hawaii last year. It was a far cry from the half-carat ring her husband proposed with more than 25 years ago and the 1.5-carat upgrade they purchased 10 years ago. Hare, 50, who lives in San Jose, Calif., and works in high tech, chose a $40,000 lab-made diamond because “it’s nuts” to have to spend $100,000 on a natural stone. “It had to be big—that was my vision,” she says.

But the size of the ring has made it less practical at times. She doesn’t wear it for athletic training and swaps in her wedding band instead. And she is careful to leave it at home when traveling. “A lot of times I won’t take it on vacation because it’s just a monster,” she says.

The average retail price for a one-carat lab-made loose diamond decreased to $1,426 this year from $3,039 in 2020, according to the Tenoris data. Similar-sized loose natural diamonds cost $5,426 this year, compared with $4,943 in 2020.

Lab-made diamonds have essentially the same chemical makeup as natural ones, and look the same, unless viewed through sophisticated equipment that gauges the characteristics of emitted light.

At Ritani, an online jewellery retailer, lab-made diamond sales make up about 70% of the diamonds sold, up from roughly 30% two years ago, says Juliet Gomes, head of customer service at the company, based in White Plains, N.Y.

Ritani sometimes records videos of the lab-diamonds pinging when exposed to a “diamond tester,” a tool that judges authenticity, to show customers that the man-made rocks behave the same as natural ones. We definitely have some deep conversations with them,” Gomes says.

Not all gem dealers are rolling with these stones.

Philadelphia jeweller Steven Singer only stocks the natural stuff in his store and is planning a February campaign to give about 1,000 one-carat lab-made diamonds away free to prove they are “worthless.” Anyone can sign up online and get one in the mail; even shipping is free. “I’m not selling Frankensteins that were built in a lab,” Singer says.

Some brides are turned off by the larger bling now allowed by the lower prices.When her now-husband proposed with a two-carat lab-grown engagement ring, Tiffany Buchert, 40, was excited about the prospect of marriage—but not about the size of the diamond, which she says struck her as “costume jewellery-ish.”

“I said yes in the moment, of course, I didn’t want it to be weird,” says the physician assistant from West Chester, Pa.

But within weeks, she says, she fessed up, telling her fiancé: “I think I hate this ring.”

The couple returned it and then bought a one-carat natural diamond for more than double the price.

Couples find that lab-grown diamonds have made it more affordable to get engaged. PHOTO: CAM POLLACK/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

When Boulet, the wedding planner in Raleigh, got engaged herself, she was over the moon when her fiancé proposed with a 2.3 carat lab-made diamond ring. “It’s very shiny, we were almost worried it was too shiny and was going to look fake,” she says.

It doesn’t, which presents another issue—looking like someone who really shelled out for jewellery. Boulet will occasionally volunteer that her diamond ring came from a lab.

“I don’t want people to think I’m putting on airs, or trying to be flashier than I am,” she says.

For Daniel Teoh, a 36-year-old software engineer outside of Detroit, buying a cheaper lab-made diamond for his fiancée meant extra room in his $30,000 ring budget.

Instead of a bigger ring, he got her something they could both enjoy. During a walk while on an annual ski trip to South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Teoh popped the question and handed his now-wife a handmade wooden box that included a 2.5-carat lab-made diamond ring—and a car key.

She put on the ring, celebrated with both of their sisters and a friend, who was the unofficial photographer of the happy event, and then they drove back to the house. There, she saw a 1965 Mustang GT coupe in Wimbledon white with red stripes and a bow on top.

Looking back, Teoh says, it was still the diamond that made the big first impression.

“It wasn’t until like 15 minutes later she was like ‘so, what’s with this key?’” he adds.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

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