Permanent Pay Cuts May Await Those Returning To Work, Says New Report

BenefitsFor anyone who believes that finding a job in this moribund economy is the end of a long uphill climb, a new report by the Brookings Institute suggests that securing employment may be just the end of one challenge and the beginning of an altogether different one.

While it?s not uncommon for formerly laid off workers to experience a pay cut upon returning to work, the report says that those laid off during game-changing economic upheavals like the Great Recession?ones characterized by unusually high rates of unemployment?tend to witness a permanent lag in pay over time. ?These pay cuts may be so significant, according to the report?s authors, that they can amount to as much as $112,000?or 19% of earnings?over the course of an employee?s work life.

To put that figure in perspective, imagine not taking home a paycheck for one whole year once every five years. In real-world terms, the $112,000 hit in pay is roughly the cost of putting two children through most any public in-state college for four years and purchasing a new car.