Hourly vs. salary: Which is better?

Hourly vs. salary: Which is better?

 

I had a conversation with a friend, we'll call him Joel, who had two job offers. One was a low-stress 9-to-5 gig but paid $10,000 less than the other offer, which would require longer hours and greater responsibility. He didn't like a lot of things about the higher paying position, but he accepted the offer because it was more in line with the salary at his last job.

In the months that followed, he was regularly putting in 12-hour days at the office and working Sundays. My guess is that it was at least 60 hours per week, and that's being conservative. His gut instinct was right — he wasn't enjoying the new job.

Hourly vs. Salary

I couldn't help but wonder if the extra money was worth it because I was in a similar position not long ago.

When I was an employee, I was on the cusp of going from hourly to salary, and quite frankly, I'm glad I was able to avoid the uncomfortable conversation of declining a promotion. In my situation, a jump in levels would essentially mean I would be doing the same job (with the possibility of more responsibility) for the same pay.

Vacation and sick days were the same for hourly or salaried employees. When I asked what the difference was between the two pay structures, other than the fact that I wouldn't get paid for overtime on salary, I was told that salaried employees can take a couple of hours for a doctor's appointment and not have to use their sick time.

Related Content: How to ask for a raise

As a young, healthy woman without kids, I had amassed more sick days than vacation time. That wasn't much of an incentive. Then I looked around me at some of the other salaried employees who stayed late or worked weekends, and I wanted no part of it. I wanted to have dinner with my husband at night and spend our weekends going to markets, cooking and watching Netflix.

At another job, I was told that being on salary meant that “if we close the office early, you'll still get paid.” But we closed the office maybe two or three afternoons out of the year, and there were many, many events that required 8+ hour days. Once I put in a 22-hour day for a particularly big event.

In these particular situations, I just didn't see the benefit of switching to salary. Was I crazy, or was everyone else?!

Exempt and Non-exempt

First, let's look at what exactly it means to be hourly or salaried. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which governs most jobs, employees are either “exempt” or “nonexempt.”

Nonexempt employees are typically paid by the hour and are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week.

Exempt employees, on the other hand, do not get overtime pay. For example, a sales consultant is usually exempt, but a customer service rep who works in a call center will most likely be nonexempt.

Every field, company, and job is different, but generally, the following are the benefits and drawbacks of each pay structure.

Benefits of Hourly Work

The benefits of being paid by the hour include the following:

  • Guaranteed a certain dollar amount for every hour you work.
  • Positions usually have a predetermined number of hours you'll work.
  • If you're asked to work more than 40 hours, you get paid overtime, which is time-and-a-half for each hour after the first 40 hours. For example, if your hourly wage is $12, you would be paid $18 for every hour past 40 hours in a week.
  • Some employers double your hourly rate if you're asked to work holidays.

The drawbacks? If your place of business closes early or decides to cut back on hours, that means a smaller paycheck. The likelihood of that happening depends on the industry and the company. A 9-to-5 office job is likely to have a set schedule, whereas a job working in retail might fluctuate more.

Benefits of Salary Pay

The benefits of being paid a set salary include the following:

  • Guaranteed a certain dollar amount per paycheck.
  • Some companies offer salaried employees additional perks, such as vacation days or a more flexible schedule. For example, if you finish your work early, you might be able to take the afternoon off.
  • Often salaried positions come with a higher status and/or a jump on the pay scale.
  • Salaried employees might be happier, according to a study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Researchers found that income didn't affect happiness levels as much for salaried employees as for those paid hourly. Hourly workers experienced a stronger relationship between income and happiness.

The downside is that if a salaried position demands more than 40 hours per week and working on holidays, you won't get paid extra for your time.

What Would you Choose?

In my case, there were no extra perks and no bump in pay. My hours were just as set as they were for salaried coworkers. Maybe more so since my boss was reluctant to have me work overtime and have to pay time-and-a-half.

I think in Joel's case, it wasn't such a good deal, either. If he was making $50,000 and working 60 hours per week, he made about $16 per hour. If he had accepted the other job offer at $40,000 and 40 hours per week, he would have made $19.24 per hour. He was working at a lower hourly wage, and he wasn't even enjoying his job.

But in many cases, it can be a great thing, especially if you make more money, get extra benefits, and your company doesn't expect 80-hour work weeks with no time off to compensate.

If you're given the choice between the two, whether at your company or when negotiating job offers, look at the whole package. Find out the average number of hours the job requires, calculate your hourly wage, and think about what your time is worth. (Even better: Compute your real hourly wage, since it'll reflect hidden job costs, such as wardrobe and commute.)

If you're young and single, maybe you want to focus on your career and climb the corporate ladder. If you're a father of two small kids, making it home for dinner every night might be your top priority. Then look at the perks and decide if they're worthwhile to you. For example, a free pass for doctor appointments didn't matter to me in the least, but I would've jumped at the chance for a flexible schedule.

In short, don't assume that salary pay is necessarily better. Every job and every employee's personal situation is different, so crunch the numbers and weigh the benefits for yourself.

Editor's note: This article was first published in 2011 and updated by Katie Ryan O'Connor in October 2016.

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LifeAndMyFinances
LifeAndMyFinances
9 years ago

I say it all depends on what’s expected out of you as a salaried employee. Currently, I’m salaried, but there is no expectation for me to work more than 40 hours per week. In fact, my time is more relaxed because I don’t have to make up time if I miss an hour of work for a doctor’s appointment. For many though, a salaried position means long hours and little appreciation. If this is the case for your company, I would advise sticking out the hourly position as long as possible (unless of course, there is a possibility of advancing… Read more »

Squirrelers
Squirrelers
9 years ago

I think this response states it well. If a position means long hours and little appreciation, salaried may not be the way to go. Sometimes, the same work can be done with higher ROI if done independently as a consultant/contractor.

Again, it depends on the profession, your career goals, and each specific situation. But I think it’s important to always keep in mind one’s overall quality of life and true hourly pay – even if salaried.

Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter
Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter
9 years ago

I have been in both situations and from what I have experienced, I prefer salary. However, like LAMF said, salary only works if you only expected to work your 40 hours. I have been in spots where overtime was a must but at that point I decided to make a change. I like the fact of not having to punch in for every hour of work that I do- the flexibility is great .

Jennifer
Jennifer
7 years ago

Everyone seems to have positive salary experiences, but I’m a little frustrated with mine. I have decent insurance, but if I take off a couple hours early to pick someone up from the airport, I’m expected to use vacation time. Considering the fact that I only get 10 days’ worth vacation time per year, I’d rather not use it for little things like that. I also am expected to work 48 hours a week, every single week, with at least 40 of them being client-billable. If I have 39 client-billable hours, I didn’t meet my requirement for the week, and… Read more »

Donna Clements
Donna Clements
7 years ago

I requested to go salary instead of hourly (stupidly I must admit) thinking I would be able to use my few hours as comp time for doctors appt etc. Well .. the attorneys who are salaried have the perks of coming and going as they please but I was told I (as a professional also) would not be able to use my time as comp time. what I was told was there is actually no difference for me except I was now working extra hours without pay. can you guess what I have done? I quit putting in so much… Read more »

NealR
NealR
6 years ago

I am a salaried employee at a Cardiology center. My hrs are not long 7A to finish usually 1:30ish workload dependent. I work independent of Dr hrs, however pts are only scheduled in AM. I was told I would need to fill an 8 hr day with other non related tasks not in my job description. I’m also being docked pay for hrs in which the office is closed. Can they do that? I have no problem doing more work related duties ie more patients.

slcccom
slcccom
4 years ago
Reply to  NealR

No, they can’t dock your pay. They are trying to have it both ways with you. Check Department of Labor regulations.

Suzanne
Suzanne
9 years ago

I don’t think you adequately stated the benefit of a salaried position in terms of the impact on lifetime earning potential. In most cases, salaried positions are coveted for a reason: they are usually linked to higher responsibilities and higher career potential. Management is salaried while lower-level staff is hourly. You did mention it a bit, but not enough. There is a strict limit to earnings potential for hourly employees while salaried ones can progress much further based on their talent, effort and performance. In the example, you say its a benefit that your boss is more likely to give… Read more »

Chase
Chase
9 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne

In general it seems like salary postitions are careers, whereas hourly positions are just jobs.

While each have their respective advantages and disadvantages I am starting a very good salary job in 6 days and cannot wait, and yes it’s one of the 60+ hour a week type salary job, maybe more. I have been hourly for the last 2 years now and am sick of it.

Emily
Emily
9 years ago
Reply to  Chase

There is so much more to a salaried position than whether or not you make overtime. As someone else commented, “Salaried positions are careers; hourly positions are jobs.” The question isn’t how much do you make per hour. The question is, do you want a job or a career? Some people only want a job. That’s fine; plenty of room for that. But an hourly position isn’t better for you in the long term just because you have the potential for overtime pay. I haven’t held an hourly job since college. In my field, the idea of someone with an… Read more »

Mary
Mary
8 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Just wondering if Emily, you have children, and if so the ages. I have a 2 and 6 year old, a salary job, I agree with you about salaried jobs often being “careers”. But I cannot imagine if my job required 40-70 hours a week. (unless the high end was EXTREMELY rare.) That would destroy my grip on homelife. (Not criticizing you, just wondering if you DO have children, how you make that work.) Haha, and I say “my grip on homelife” as if I actually have that. 😉 It is tentative even with a 35-45 hour a week salaried… Read more »

Sara Thompson
Sara Thompson
7 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Our company Assistant Controller and HR never work over 30 hours. They said if they work over 35+ hours that mean there salary is not paying enough.

Max
Max
5 years ago
Reply to  Chase

It depends on what your looking for. I was offered salary with benefits instead I took 52$ an hour. Sure, I could move into management and potentially make more but it’s an easy trap to trade a few thousand per year in guaranteed income for a lot of ‘unpaid’ overtime.

Steve
Steve
4 years ago
Reply to  Chase

Not all hourly jobs are bad. My situation: I work as an equipment technician in the semiconductor industry. In a nutshell, I’m a robot mechanic. I LOVE my job and consider it a career that I intend to retire doing. I also make over $100K a year and am about 25% away from my max possible salary. I’m 41 and live well below my means so that money goes a LONG way. Contrast that with the salaried Engineers I work with. They work 60+ hrs a week, have phone conferences at 2am with factories in other countries, are on call… Read more »

RC
RC
9 years ago
Reply to  Suzanne

It really depends on the career field and the amount of salaried positions available at your company. I’ve been in two different hourly positions where I excelled at my job and although there were no higher positions to be promoted to (unless someone left and no one was leaving) so I was given a few more responsibilities and a merit raise because of my job performance. It’s not true that if you are hourly you are locked down – I’ve had 2 different experiences with adjusting responsibilities and hourly rate up without being moved into a salaried position.

Charles
Charles
9 years ago

This article is unrealistic and out of tune with the times. Most people don’t have the luxury of choosing between multiple job offers, let alone a full time job with benefits. I’ve spent 3 years looking for full time employment. I am barely surviving on sporadic temp work, no benefits, hourly wages, with minor bonuses for performance. Now the performance bonuses have been eliminated, and the job has switched to “piecework.” I get paid 50 cents for each piece of paperwork I process. I used to get $11.75 an hour. Now with piecework, I’m guaranteed only $10/hour minimum, I have… Read more »

Erin
Erin
9 years ago
Reply to  Charles

There is something really wrong with our economy today. Unemployment is rampant yet companies are making record-breaking profits. Employees turn into desk slaves while the “boss” has champagne parties in his posh suburban home or takes the week off to hang out at the lake. The working man needs to take back some of this power. I’m not sure exactly how to do this yet, but I am trying to make myself irreplaceable at work. Once I get them where I want them, I’m going to ask for a raise and for remote access. It’s time for a new economy,… Read more »

sam
sam
9 years ago
Reply to  Erin

I think your talking about a union.

jlg3rd
jlg3rd
9 years ago
Reply to  sam

The posh parties happen more in the private sector than in Union companies. The rich are getting richer and the middle class is getting squezzed out!

washift
washift
8 years ago
Reply to  sam

Having worked in both union and non union environments. There are unions in both the public and private sector. Union and company leadership are both capable of questionable spending.

Tage
Tage
9 years ago
Reply to  Erin

It’s called productivity. Companies laid off people during the recession and were often able to sustain levels of output: productivity went up. Why hire more people just because you’re making more money? Companies aren’t required to hire lots of people just because they operating in America…

Luke
Luke
9 years ago
Reply to  Tage

I’d argue that’s a gross oversimplification. During the recession, companies downsized their workforces and those who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs were forced to work longer, more demanding hours, unpaid overtime and many folk live in a state of constant panic that their job will disappear if they complain about this, that they’ll be the next person to disappear into the unemployment black hole. Yes, productivity went up – because harried staff worked their behinds off and were/are taken advantage of every day. I’d argue that this isn’t sustainable and if firms continue to pay people less for… Read more »

mvr
mvr
8 years ago
Reply to  Erin

If you become irreplaceable, than your manager is not doing their job. One of the manager’s most important jobs is to cross train employees, so that company doesn’t get in a situation, which you are hoping for.
To me this is almost selfish. In your case, what would happen with the business if you get sick, take some time off or decide to leave company? If the answer is “I don’t care”, you doing it wrong. You should do your best for the business at all time and that’s how you will achieve your job security. The rest will come….

slcccom
slcccom
4 years ago
Reply to  mvr

I disagree. There are many cases where the company has not earned any loyalty, and it is EARNED.

the other Tammy
the other Tammy
9 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Piece work stinks! I worked in a factory while I was in college and we worked in teams. My partner was on piecework while I was hourly. I had to process all the parts my piecework partner produced every shift. So my partner would work 8 hours straight, no breaks, to get as many pieces made as he could, and I had to bust my tail to keep up…even though I wasn’t getting paid for working that way. It’s great to wolf down your sandwich and go to the bathroom then dash back to work to find a stack of… Read more »

Abby
Abby
9 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Charles, keep in mind that even if unemployment is 9%, that means that roughly 91% of the population is employed.

The fact that April’s article is targeted towards those who have a job hardly means that it’s “out of touch with the times.”

If you’d like a better job, by all means, go get one! I was laid off at the height of the recession, sent out 250 resumes, and had a job offer within 2 weeks. It can be done if you’re willing to work for it.

Luke
Luke
9 years ago
Reply to  Abby

Does anyone else get tired of the gung-ho attitude of people who say ‘I lost a job and got another one instantly, so you can too!’?

I have numberous family members who are unemployed (in the UK) and have dilligently sent off dozens of applications *a week* for *months* (6 months in one case, over a year in the other).

The applications are well written, they have skills and they’re willing to do pretty much anything within reason, but they’re not getting jobs.

Sometimes it’s not as easy as ‘just get a job’…

Abby
Abby
9 years ago
Reply to  Luke

I can see how it’s annoying to be told to go out and get another job, but really, what’s the alternative? I find it much more exasperating to hear people gripe about their situation without taking any positive action.

As J.D. might say, no one cares more about your situation than you. If you want to improve it, it’s up to you.

phoenix
phoenix
9 years ago
Reply to  Abby

It really depends on where you are and what field you are in. Two groups of people are hit especially hard in this recession: more experienced employees (20+ years) and men. The reason? They were paid more so employers see them as more expensive to hire. But if you’re willing to take too drastic of a hit to your former salary, employers are wary because they wonder why and are nervous the employee will be out looking for a higher paid job, using the current job as a layover until they can get back to the higher salary. And if… Read more »

Shaaronie
Shaaronie
8 years ago
Reply to  Abby

I agree with your overall sentiment. However, the actual unemployment rate is much higher. The feds don’t include those who have stopped looking for work or have been unable to find work after exhausting benefits. The actual unemployment number could be significantly as high as 30 to 40%, although that is my personal opinion based upon how the unemployment rate is calculated.

Perrius Maximus
Perrius Maximus
5 years ago
Reply to  Abby

Actually, Abby, you are gravely mistaken. 9% unemployment does not mean “that 91% of the population is working”. I am certain that the current occupants of the White House would like us all to believe that drivel, but it simply is not true. Unemployment figures only represent the population of America that is actually looking for a job. It does not factor in all of the people who have fallen off unemployment and simply quit looking for work…and it does not account for all of those on Government assistance. The real facts are thus: 51% of America is on some… Read more »

Nancy L.
Nancy L.
9 years ago

In my experience, salaried positions generally provide additional compensation such as bonuses and stock options that hourly positions don’t. In addition, most management tracks involve salaried positions, so often there are special training programs to help develop talent. My boss was invited to participate in a special MBA program for employees at a certain pay grade–it was specifically set up around our work schedules.

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Nancy L.

You’re right about management track – sometimes it looks like the first few levels of “salaried” are just hazing for the real jobs – “look how many hours she worked, for the same rate of pay!” But I have had lots of hourly jobs, with bonuses & profit-sharing, where I made as much per hour as my salaried managers and supervisors…the real money was still 2 or 3 levels above them, and they were working 60 hours a week. I don’t know any salaried people who only put in 40 hours/week and, truthfully, it looks like a bad deal most… Read more »

Kristen
Kristen
9 years ago

In my first job out of grad school, I was generously offered a move from hourly to salaried when I got pregnant with my daughter so that my health insurance would be paid by the company instead of myself. There were also retirement benefits, maternity leave, disability leave, and bonuses that were then avalale to me that weren’t available when I was hourly. Those benefits outweighed the extra money I had the potential of earning as an hourly employee.

eemusings
eemusings
9 years ago

To be honest, I have never seen the benefits of being salaried FT when there is an hourly equivalent. I worked shifts and weekends at my old job, but I was union and hourly, so at least i was well compensated for it.

At my current company, all employees are salaried. I expect there will be overtime (more than flexibility for things like doctor’s appointments will make up for) but it’s work that by and large I am happy to do within reasons (and the good thing is I can work from almost anywhere if need be.)

Kate
Kate
9 years ago

I tried poking around the Internet to find out to what extent hourly positions are common outside of retail, manufacturing, trades and nursing, but unfortunately didn’t find much, minus a reference to hourly wages usually being associated with blue collar jobs.

How common is it to be able to choose between hourly and salaried? The only instance I can think of in any of the above industries is between worker bee and management.

Annie
Annie
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Government jobs are hourly.

jim
jim
9 years ago
Reply to  Annie

Many government jobs are salary. It depends on the job.

Kate
Kate
9 years ago
Reply to  Annie

Mine certainly isn’t!

A
A
9 years ago
Reply to  Annie

My government job is technically hourly, in that all of us (managers too) have to log our hours, and technically there’s an hourly wage listed on our pay stubs, but we will never receive overtime and our checks will always be for exactly the same amount every pay – even the job offer letter phrased it as “$XXX biweekly” instead of “$XX.XX hourly for XX hours per day/week/pay period.”

washift
washift
8 years ago
Reply to  A

The record keeping in the public sector (government) is about accountability. Having worked in public and private sector in management positions, I did record and submit hours in the Sr. Mgmt government position I was in. That did not make the job hourly by classification. It is a record keeping requirement for government. I was not paid overtime.

Megan E.
Megan E.
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate,

I worked in a hospital and I was salary while my coworkers (a program director and a social worker) were hourly. They worked around the same hours as me, but while I was told to stay late and finish stuff sometimes, they HAD to go home if the hospital didn’t want to pay them anymore.

A lot of nurses are also hourly and others in hospitality fields.

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

For me, it’s been the choice between part time vs. full time in very similar jobs, and between taking or not taking promotions when I was already working full time. In a lot of companies, the shift from “team lead” (hourly) to “supervisor” (salary) is just a title change and less money, with the carrot of eventual promotion dangled to get people to put in ridiculous hours and on-call time for years at a time. If you choose the company well, it pans out over time…assuming your future self wants the corporate job your past self chose to sacrifice for.… Read more »

Wilson
Wilson
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Many professional fields, like law, now offer hourly options. The drawback is no participation if the firm has a health insurance option, no vacation/ sick days, and no 401k if it is offered. The upsides are if I want to leave early to take my infant to the park, I leave. Of course I don’t get paid for that time, but I make up my work on my own time b/c I’m still a professional and that’s what’s expected. No overtime either, but if I have a busy week I get paid for the total amount of hours worked, whereas… Read more »

Tasha
Tasha
8 years ago
Reply to  Wilson

I work for a large legal research firm offering both hourly and salaried positions. While the salaried positions tend to be the higher career-oriented positions, the firm still offers health insurance, 401k with company match, sick days and vacation to hourly workers. I’d like to move into a salaried position eventually, but I have no problems working an hourly position in the meantime. I think the benefits offered depend more on the company/firm you’re working for than whether you’re hourly or salaried.

Steve
Steve
9 years ago
Reply to  Kate

This comes up frequently in the software industry, but it’s usually framed as “contractor vs. employee” (where contractor could be consultant, temp, etc.) Usually a contractor gets paid more per hour, but doesn’t get benefits, stock options, etc.

sarah
sarah
9 years ago

I’m guessing it varies a lot by job. My husband worked for an hourly wage for his first few years as an architect. He regularly worked 60-80 hours per week and sometimes over 100 (it’s a cult, I swear). There was a lot of pressure to work like this as well as internal motivation, since all that overtime more than doubled his paycheck. Moving to a salaried position meant he got paid about the same per paycheck or a little less (the base rate was much higher) and was able to start saying no to unreasonable requests. He still worked… Read more »

Pamela
Pamela
9 years ago
Reply to  sarah

Ha ha ha! It is a cult, isn’t it? I’ve known my husband to work 36 hours straight when getting ready for a big deadline. I’ve done such things too in my nonprofit career but not nearly as often.

I think they brainwash everyone in architecture school to believe if they work insane hours they just might be the next Frank Lloyd Wright. 🙂

Hannah
Hannah
9 years ago

This article only talks about the difference in pay, not the difference between hourly work and a salaried position. If you’re hired for a specific project or responsibility, it doesn’t make sense to schedule a precise number of hours. Hourly pay makes sense for a lot of jobs, from low paying jobs like retail, to high paying jobs like plumbing and consulting. But I think the situation April described where the same job gives you a choice between hourly and salaried is out of the norm. Usually the nature of the work makes one choice more logical.

Jen H.
Jen H.
9 years ago

I’m currently in a salaried, flex-time position. It’s horrible. Contrary to the job description on hiring, I am expected to be available 24/7 for whomever needs me, with very little notice. For the record, I’m a paralegal, and there’s really no ‘ladder’ for me to climb, so no incentive to kill myself for ‘Chinese overtime’ (the more you work, the less you make per hour – by the 60th hour, you could be down to $5/hour). I understand why the attorneys work long hours – it’s for their future, and the legal assistants make time and a half, but my… Read more »

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen H.

I’m hourly part-time flex right now, and the folks I report to keep saying “They should make you full time!” like it’s a reward. If I wanted full time, I’d be full time. There are only about 10 part-time flex positions in the whole company, and every time one opens up internally there are a ton of applications. Unlike hourly part-time I’ve done before, this job has no insurance benefits. The company has no reason NOT to offer the option for other jobs – they’d save a ton of money, from folks not working when there’s not work to do… Read more »

Andrea
Andrea
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen H.

Jen, You should research salaried employees, specifically exempt vs non-exempt. If sometimes you are seriously down to $5 an hour, that is illegal, you must be paid At Least minimum wage regardless of salaried or not. Also, salaried exempt employees must meet certain standards, such as having direct supervision over other employees. Do you supervise others? You may be non-exempt, which means you are entitled over time for any time worked over 40 (even salaried). My boyfriend went thru this recently. He was salaried, yet at a low salary somewhere in the $30000’s. To me salaried employees, are white collar… Read more »

Mike
Mike
9 years ago
Reply to  Andrea

Finally, someone who knows something about this! It is illegal to put an employee on salary to avoid paying overtime, exempt positions not withstanding, and it seems that this is done regularly. Not only must an employee supervise at least two full-time employees to be exempt, but the salaried employee must also make decisions that are substantive to the direction of the corporation. They must also earn a minimum amount (just over $27,000 the last time I looked). There are one or two smaller criteria, too, but I don’t remember what they are.

Kate
Kate
9 years ago

I no longer work outside the home, so my experience may not be yours. I always worked hourly and preferred it! I was a low to mid grade technician for most of my career, but had other skills so I was a valued employee and generally well compensated. My benefits were good, but to me the most valuable benefits were intangible. When my shift was over, I clocked out and was done for the day. If I had to work later, I was paid for my extra work. If through extenuating circumstances I had to work on weekends or holidays… Read more »

Em
Em
9 years ago

This article is missing some major points. Typically you do NOT get to choose between exempt and nonexempt status. The Fair Labor Standards Act sets some tests to determine IF an employee can be exempt. Basing it on a “salaries test” and a “duties test”.
Do a little research next time.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Em

I agree. I’ve been salaried my entire career – but not always exempt from overtime. It’s the best of both worlds – I was guaranteed a ‘base’ but, did get paid for overtime. Of course, once I started managing other employees, writing policy and budgets, then I was exempt and lost the overtime benefit!

April
April
9 years ago
Reply to  Em

Correct on FLSA, but the article is discussing choosing between two different job offers, one which is hourly and the other which is salary, or two different positions within a company, one paid hourly and the other salary.

Trina
Trina
9 years ago
Reply to  April

If they are comparable jobs, I’m very surprised that one is hourly and one is salaried. As the PP noted, the positions would have to be put to the same tests. If they are truly different jobs altogether, then it seems like it’s really more a question of whether you want more responsibility, and are willing to work more than 40 hours per week.

First Gen American
First Gen American
9 years ago

Another downside to hourly is that usually there is a salary cap. In places I’ve worked, many hourly workers are a lower level position in terms of career band, so they often max out on their salary band long before they hit retirement age, so they’ll get a lump sum, but not an actual raise come review time.

Adam P
Adam P
9 years ago

While I doubt I will ever get to choose between salary and hourly (unless I open my own company), I did recently make a choice between a cushy job that let me work from home with regular Caribbean travel and a job paying roughly 40% more but was in an office, no travel and meant significant overtime during busy periods. There were a few more issues at stake such as advancement (in the old job I would have plateaued for probably 10 years before significant promotions were available-but it was a “dream job” in most people’s eyes), whereas the new… Read more »

Julia
Julia
9 years ago

I’ll second that being salaried helps in future careers. When I went to salaried at age 25 I actually made less than hourly due to the overtime I had earned previously. But when I moved across the country the new company was impressed that I had been on salary at such a young age, it helped get a new job.

Mark
Mark
9 years ago

The big difference between salaried and hourly is the protections that a salaried position offers you. If you are an hourly employee, the company can fire you at any time if they believe they are not getting the amount of work out of you, which leaves you without unemployment since it is very easy for the company to say you didn’t do your job. As for salaried employees, they mostly get laid off because in order to fire a salaried employee the company has to document what you did wrong and show negligence even after an “improvement plan” had been… Read more »

Jen H.
Jen H.
9 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Except for those of us in a right-to-work state.

jim
jim
9 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark, I don’t think federal law defines different rules for firing people for hourly vs. salary. There may be state laws or company policies along those lines. Hourly employees may get fired more often with less cause but thats just cause some employers do what they can get away with. I don’t think its really any easier or harder to fire one over the other. Its just as easy to claim a salaried person didn’t do their job as an hourly one.

Steve
Steve
9 years ago
Reply to  Mark

This depends heavily on state law (and national law, outside the US). Many states have “at will” employment, which means they don’t have to give any reason whatsoever for terminating your employment. Many states pay unemployment even if you were terminated for performance. Perhaps the biggest nugget of truth in your comment was that hourly employees are more likely to be the first ones laid off. However, even that is just a probability, not a guarantee.

E. Murphy
E. Murphy
9 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Sorry, Mark, but this is dead wrong. I worked in human resources and both salaried/hourly have the same standards for collecting unemployment because of firing/layoff.

And you certainly don’t necessarily have more job security because you’re salaried. That would vary company by company. Sometimes middle management is the first to be booted.

Krista
Krista
9 years ago

I was in a salaried position because I had a professional license (company policy) and did the same job as a non-licensed coworker who was hourly. We worked 50+ hours so I made a LOT less than he did. “Nothing could be done” because it was policy. Also, I never made the same amount if I worked less than 40 hours a week. If I worked 38 (if I went to an appt and didn’t take sick or vacation time) my pay was docked by my calculated hourly wage, based on 40 hours, of course. I never saw any benefit… Read more »

Peggy
Peggy
9 years ago
Reply to  Krista

My husband’s job is like that. He’s treated as a salaried employee when he works late and on weekends, but as an hourly employee when he needs to take time off.

Andy
Andy
9 years ago

I guess I am in an abnormal “salaried” position. The only real difference for me between salaried and hourly at my job is that I don’t have to clock in and if I’m 5-10 minutes late or stay 15 minutes over, it doesn’t affect my pay. I work 7 days on 7 days off 2nd shift in a hospital. My schedule is not flexible at all. I am relieving someone at the beginning of my shift and am relieved by someone at the end. I have never been asked to stay over after my shift ends though I do sometimes.… Read more »

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago

I think it does vary widely as to the benefits of being in either position. I have done both. For me, my salaried position (in healthcare field) gave me a large bonus (depending on the company’s profits) but I worked until 8:30 pm everyday. The schedule was not flexible at all. As a current hourly retail worker, I get a tiny bonus (again, depending on profits) but have a very flexible schedule. I also make 50% LESS than my former job. Honestly, I have kids who need my attention so I’ll take the hourly position. As time goes on, I… Read more »

Courtney
Courtney
9 years ago

I’m salaried, and the core benefits (vacation accrual, retirement, insurance, etc) are the same as hourly but my salaried job allows me a) flex time – I have core hours from 9:30-3:30 and can work any schedule that covers those hours; b) credit hours – can accrue and hold up to 40 hours of overtime to be used at my discretion like vacation or sick leave; c) telecommuting one day a week. None of those things would be options to me if I was an hourly worker.

Jen H.
Jen H.
9 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

That sounds heavenly. What field are you in, if I may ask?

Courtney
Courtney
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen H.

I work in intellectual property management for a major government contractor (science-y; I have a Ph.D., not a J.D.)

Kathy A.
Kathy A.
9 years ago

Are you sure the sales consultant would be exempt? Seems to me that would be true only if they are an outside sales person.

Many companies get the exempt employee thing wrong. I even worked for an employee benefits firm that did. (Then they tried to say we had professional degrees, when I was the only one in my department with more than a high school diploma. Yeah, right.)

Clare
Clare
9 years ago
Reply to  Kathy A.

I’ve been in the same boat, where a small business I worked for classified everyone as exempt without any regard for their actual job duties. They were very sketchy about it. We were told to always put 40 hours on our timesheet, no matter how many hours we worked. They claimed it was “company culture” not to work over 40 hours. When we inevitably *had* to work over 40 hours to do an event, they would not pay overtime – we could choose to take an afternoon off the following week. The DoL has a whole website dedicated to cases… Read more »

jim
jim
9 years ago
Reply to  Kathy A.

REtail/service employees who get at least 50% of their pay from commissions and make at least 150% of minimum wage can also be salaried.

Alan
Alan
9 years ago

I just made the move to a salaried position. Only time will tell if it was the right move. Not that I had much of an option with a recent promotion I was determined to be “exempt.” I was moved into a salary position with compensation. After a period I lost certain bonuses that were available in an hourly position but again was compensated. I could have technically made more in a year in my old position, but now I no longer worry about peaks and valleys when it comes to my income. I won’t miss the valleys but those… Read more »

David R
David R
9 years ago

I had the interesting experience of working the same job at the same company as both a salaried and an hourly worker. The pay was roughly the same, since overtime was discouraged unless there was an emergency, but the way I thought about work was much different when I worked hourly than when I worked salaried. First, some background: the job was a customer-facing, technical support IT job that required shift work. These shifts would change depending on when the customer was scheduled to use our resources. When I was salaried for the first 9 years of this job, the… Read more »

Rosa Rugosa
Rosa Rugosa
9 years ago
Reply to  David R

David,
I think you are the first one to mention the postive aspects of being able to work extra hours, regardless of no extra pay, in order to get things done. In my company, OT is only allowed under extreme circumstances for non-exempt employees. This can create stress when workers just cannot get everything done during the work day. I consider it somewhat of a luxury to be able to stay late or take work home if I need to do so in order to stay on top of things!

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Rosa Rugosa

To me, it’s the flexibility – if you have the option of workign more when there’s more work, and less when there’s less, it’s a good thing. But that seems really rare – most workplaces seem to be “at least 40 hours” so you don’t balance the times when you have a lot to do with times when you don’t have to be there. Me, I run my own schedule, so if I am in the middle of something (and parenting doesn’t interfere) I can work extra hours that day. But the number of hours my employer budgets per week… Read more »

Alyssa
Alyssa
9 years ago

I’m hourly and the overtime is awesome. However, all of us at the office work 50+ hours per week, so me being hourly or salary wouldn’t affect that as much. The biggest downside to being hourly is the use of my gym pass. I’m grateful that my company pays for my gym pass in our building; however, if any of the salaried employees use the gym during lunch, their pay isn’t directly affected. If I go to the gym for an hour on two separate days, I’ve already lost more in my hourly pay than the gym costs per month.

R S
R S
9 years ago

While an hourly vs salary discussion is helpful for those just entering the workforce, I think it is poor advice to recommend basing this decision on pay. The nebulous factor is job satisfaction. Some of my friends have highly undesirable 1 hour commutes in awful traffic to work, but the work makes it worth it. Computing their hourly pay, after the commute and easily 10-12 hr days, comes out to be far less than the production line workers in their facilities, who are compensated hourly. From my experience, salaried positions have higher responsibilities than hourly positions. Supposedly higher compensation &… Read more »

Jan
Jan
9 years ago

A friend is in contracting with the government. He works hourly and makes close to six figures. He gets no overtime, sick leave or vacation. He does have comprehensive health care and a great 401K. He can leave or be fired with a 24 hour notice. Still, he is very happy with the position.

I think the working world is changing quickly.

Matthew
Matthew
9 years ago

I am in the same position as the author. I am one of two non-union management employees who is non-exempt at my job. I do the same work as the exempt managers, but I get paid for my overtime. As I have been working 50 hour weeks I have been pulling some nice overtime checks. Now I would like to get a “promotion” to an exempt position because it represents a little more status and opportunity, but unless I received a 25% bump in pay when I loose my overtime I may loose money. As other benefits are the same… Read more »

Annie
Annie
9 years ago

My husband was salaried for a major American clothing company. A whopping $32k a year for 60+ hours of work. It was the last straw when buyers from Hong Kong were calling our house at 11pm.

No Debt MBA
No Debt MBA
9 years ago

I had a job where I was paid based on time worked and I loved it. It seemed really fair (to someone who had always been salary) to be paid for the time you put in and not paid for what you didn’t put in. Honestly I’d probably go for an hourly job over a salaried any day all other things being equal.

jim
jim
9 years ago

Good article.

Personally I think that hourly is usually the way to go. Too many salary positions have no significant benefits and demand too many hours. But of course it all depends on the job in question.

Stacy
Stacy
9 years ago

One example of how a salaried job may not be ideal was a recent part-time job I applied for at an advertising agency. They wanted a part-time person on a salary (scaled down for part-time hours), but upon further discussion, it was revealed that I would be at their beck and call, and might even have to come in on my days off. I have worked in advertising before and I know people stay into the wee hours of the night to get campaigns finished. That’s just the way it is. I was full-time then and I understood that. Even… Read more »

SB (One Cent AT A Time)
SB (One Cent AT A Time)
9 years ago

I have worked as both salaried as well as hourly wage employee in past. If you are comfortable with a job and have been doing since years, then you become a sort of indispensible, adding to your job security, at that time you can consider going hourly way. Also if you are into two jobs or depend on part time work, it makes a case for going hourly. If money is not that important factor as power and fame to you, going salary way is best option. I have mentioned in my blog post as to how I negotiated for… Read more »

bon
bon
9 years ago

If you care about overtime at all or actually pay attention to when you are working more than 40 hrs a week, you either a) have kids or b) have a job, but not a career.

If you care about really building your income, you should work to find a career – and be salaried.

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  bon

Which is a ridiculous situation we’ve gotten ourselves into. My partner has a career he loves. He could care less about the money (seriously, he used to forget to cash bonus checks and they would expire and the company would cut new ones and badger him until he cashed them.) But he loves his work, and he just accepts that it means working 50+ hours/week all the time. I was on a career track for a few years. I worked a ton of hours, I gave up a lot of outside interests. Then we had a kid. It’s just not… Read more »

jim
jim
9 years ago
Reply to  bon

There is no reason single and/or career minded people shouldn’t care about overtime or working >40hrs. We shouldn’t all expect to work a zillion hours for free just to get ahead in our careers. If “career” by definition means working long hours without extra compensation then I’ll be happy having just a “job” that has better hours.

I’ve known a 3 people off the top of my head who had that “career” with long hours who burned out after a few years. Whats the point?

sarah
sarah
9 years ago
Reply to  bon

You forgot c) you have a life. I don’t have kids, and I do have a career that I care about very much, and I don’t want to have a job that requires overtime. I’m a mental health social worker and I’m willing to deal with a lot of crap that most people wouldn’t (last week I got punched in the face by a client) but there’s a lot more to my life than my career and I want to know that I’ll have time to take care of my relationships, my physical health, and enjoy every day while I… Read more »

bon
bon
9 years ago
Reply to  sarah

I don’t disagree – but if you have a career (i.e. a track of jobs you plan on building upon over time) where you can’t have any sort of life – then you’re probably on the wrong career track. I work around the clock – but I enjoy what I do – so I rarely feel worked to the bone. I get to live in Asia, so while I regularly have 9pm and 5am calls with the US, I can go to Bali for the weekend, so that’s a trade off I’m fine with. It is all about priorities and… Read more »

Leigh
Leigh
9 years ago

Personally, I love my salaried job. Sure the occasional 12 hour days suck, but there are also occasional 4-6 hour days. I like knowing that $X appears in my bank account and not tracking hours. For my job, tracking hours instead of tracking work would suck. I’ll go home when I have completed a sufficient amount of the work on my to do list, whether *I* decide that needs 5 hours or 12 hours.

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  Leigh

But see, most salaried jobs are not like that. In most salaried positions, there are periodic 12 hour days and almost NEVER 4-6 hour days. At least in my experience. In my opinion, the “exempt” classification is nothing more than a scam. I have never worked in an office where it was culturally acceptable to work 40 hours a week. If you show up at 9 and leave at 5, you will be noticed. And I work in nonprofits! If “Exemption” were truly fulfilling its purpose, then comp time would be mandatory. But it’s not, and exempt employees are getting… Read more »

getagrip
getagrip
9 years ago
Reply to  Leigh

I agree with imelda above in that most salaried positions I’ve seen the newbie who works 40 hours a week getting their actual work done in that time is either told they need to adjust their thinking and work the normal 50+ hours a week the other salaried employees are putting in, or fired if they don’t pick up the hints in short order about working the extra time. Sometimes it isn’t about the “work” but rather the appearance.

Michael
Michael
9 years ago

I was working full time (salary) and doing consulting (hourly) on the side. When the consulting gig wanted me to start working 40+ hours a week, I told him I would need a guarantee of 6 months pay in order to quit my full time job. So in my consulting for him, I take a straight paycheck regardless of the number of hours I work. I nearly always work more than 40 hours, but the flexibility of a work-from-home anytime-I-want job made the reduced effective hourly pay worth it. (Reduced for that consulting job, I still make more than I… Read more »

Melissa
Melissa
9 years ago

There definitely are advantages to both. I’m on salary, which I like, because I have a guaranteed paycheque and my hours are a lot more flexible. When I was paid hourly (for the same job), I was always really particular about making sure I was in the office at a certain time, and left at a certain time, etc. Now, I swear, I haven’t been in by nine am in months! But all my work gets done, and I usually stay a bit later, so it all works out in the end. The flexibility is really just a great perk.… Read more »

Ali
Ali
9 years ago

I’m hourly, and I love it. After my 8 hours, I’m out the door. However, I’m represented by a union, so even though I’m part time, I have excellent benefits, and my schedule and the number of hours I work every week do not change. Therefore, I’m guaranteed the same paycheck every two weeks, unless I work extra hours. Of course, I miss getting bonuses, but I’ll take autonomy over more money gladly.

Dana
Dana
9 years ago

Very good points. The one and only time I’ve worked for a salary, it turned out that 14 hour days were the expected normal. No thank you. My current (salaried) boss works 60-70 hours a week because our section, formally with a staff of 10, has been reduced to 3. I often worry that I’m going to come in some Monday and find her dead of a heart attack.

J.R.C.
J.R.C.
9 years ago

HEALTHCARE BENEFITS. Usually this is the difference between hourly employees and salaried employees. (And sometimes retirement benefits e.g. 401k match, are usually only for salaried employees) Yes, as a salaried employee you may end up working more hours for a ‘lower’ hourly rate. But when you factor in the additional benefit of healthcare, this is the reason for the difference. I don’t buy the ‘management’ track option for salaried employees vs. hourly. If you are an awesome employee that they think you can advance and do great things and you just happen to be hourly, that won’t be the barrier.… Read more »

jim
jim
9 years ago
Reply to  J.R.C.

Health insurance coverage usually isn’t limited to salary workers. Most full time hourly jobs have health insurance too.

Part time and lower paid jobs are the ones that get healthcare less often. But even many of those get health insurance too.

J.R.C.
J.R.C.
9 years ago
Reply to  jim

Ahh,I did not realize that. I think I was/have been operating off of a lot of presumptions.

Thanks for the reply!

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
9 years ago

My whole industry is salaried, so it’s pretty moot for me. Doesn’t bother me, though, I’ve never known anyone who gets paid hourly who makes more than I do, gets better benefits than I do, gets more vacation time than I do, or who has a more flexible schedule than I do. I can’t complain. Example: Time Off is [employer]’s progressive approach for U.S. employees to take paid time away from work to enjoy a vacation, recover from a temporary illness or injury, or take care of other personal needs. Our Time Off approach allows you greater freedom and flexibility… Read more »

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago

Do people take 6 weeks? What I see a lot of is every time folks have a chunk of vacation scheduled, they work insane hours in the weeks leading up to it, finishing up big projects they are solely responsible for, and then keep in touch during the whole time they’re gone, in case any of their pet customers or projects has and issue and because otherwise they’re completely buried in emails when they get back. That’s assuming they can find two or three weeks in a row between ‘very important’ project deadlines when they can take off.

jlg3rd
jlg3rd
9 years ago

The rest of the world gets six weeks a year, only in America are the people worked to death. Just have a look around…..lots of overweight, stressed out people juggling way too many plates on a stick!

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  jlg3rd

Except Japan. You wouldn’t believe the crazy hours people here work. (especially teachers)

jlg3rd
jlg3rd
9 years ago
Reply to  imelda

True, I stand corrected….Japan

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago

I work in the Structural Engineering field. Typically the drafters are hourly and the engineers are salaried, but we both get paid for overtime usually. The hourly get time and a half, but as an engineer I get paid straight time for any extra I work. I think this became the standard because engineers will quit if you abuse the overtime thing. I guess it’s nice to be in a job that is sort of in demand and have colleagues that will not stand for being worked to death. This practice still holds true during the bad economy with construction… Read more »

jim
jim
9 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

“engineers will quit if you abuse the overtime thing”

That may apply to your area but it doesn’t apply to engineers in general. I know of many engineering roles that work long hours and don’t quit because of it. Long hours are considered the standard expectation in some areas.

Crystal
Crystal
9 years ago

I sort of enjoy being in a nonexempt yet salaried position. I am guaranteed a salary of $35,500 a year (sucky for what I do, but I am on my way out) and benefits but if I work over 40 hours, I get one and a half times what would be my hourly salary ($16, so $24 an hour). The company simply doesn’t let us work more than 40 hours, but I am fine with that. 🙂

Money Reasons
Money Reasons
9 years ago

My employer had to convert my job grade level to hourly. And while my manager said he would try to get my promoted as fast as possible, my experiencing being an hourly employee has changed my mind about being promoted for the reasons you specify above.

sara h
sara h
9 years ago

Many salaried employees are in fact eligible for overtime pay, myself included. It may or may not be time and a half for everyone. The option to get overtime pay could be a huge deciding factor when someone is choosing to go salary or hourly, so I think this inaccuracy in your article should be corrected so that there is no confusion.

krantcents
krantcents
9 years ago

Salaried positions are generally abused by some employers. In most cases, the job requires more hours than it should to do a good job. Non-exempt (hourly) jobs are clerical or clearly defined positions. I used to have an executive job that averaged 60-70 hours a week.

Stacie
Stacie
9 years ago

I am currently hourly, making overtime in what is promising to be a VERY busy summer. But I know that in a year or so, I’ll probably be bumped to salary (with hopefully a decent payraise). I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not, but I figure it will do a lot more for my career than staying hourly will. Even as hourly, I am allowed to leave early if we aren’t busy (without docking pay usually) but I still get payed overtime if I work more than 40 hours. I haven’t done this too much though, since… Read more »

Tara@riceandbeanslife
9 years ago

I think it depends on who you work for but when I was in a salaried position I found they began to require me to work nearly 60-70 hours a week and valued my time far less than when I’d worked on an hourly basis. I actually had a meeting with the owner and explained to him that when I was hired I agreed to work occasional overtime to the tune of 10 or so hours a week when it was necessary. As the overtime became longer and constant I explained that if I worked that many more hours on… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

I’m self-employed and price projects according to an estimate of hours worked plus expenses and overhead, but I’m looking at this article from a purely analytical standpoint. It seems to me to boil down to this: a) If you work to put food on the table and your life interests lie elsewhere, hourly pay might be the thing for you. Leave work early and manage your softball team. b) If you love what you do and want to reach high in your career, then you can only have salaried work. c) There’s a grey area in between, which is maybe… Read more »

Natasha
Natasha
9 years ago

I have worked as a contract consultant (hourly), and am currently working full-time(salary).

Income is income….happy to have it either way. ;0>>

Gerard
Gerard
9 years ago

I agree with the post, but it also seems you are trying to fix the wrong problem. The real problem is the slave driver mentality of many bosses and the BS about working overtime, important projects and all that crap. We should not have to work overtime, we should not have to come in on sundays aor work extra hours because someelse does not want to have a life. With exceptions, very few jobs have life or death situations. And being European I find the entire 10 days of holiday per year, including sick days ridiculous. In Europe we get… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago
Reply to  Gerard

YES

Emily
Emily
9 years ago
Reply to  Gerard

I find that Europeans generally assume that Americans are driven to work more hours for less pay and less benefits and time off, and generally need to get a life, but this is a faulty assumption. Many jobs in the US have generous time off policies. My firm has 10 holidays (where the office is closed and everyone is off), plus I get 5 weeks of vacation to use as I wish, and sick time to use at my discretion. Theoretically the sick time is not limited but if I were to be out more than a week at a… Read more »

Gerard
Gerard
9 years ago
Reply to  Emily

I am happy to read that not all Americans have it as bad as I described. But does your situation apply to most Americans, or are you the exception to the rule?

J.R.C.
J.R.C.
9 years ago
Reply to  Gerard

I suspect that you will find that the more menial jobs tend to have worse benefits/time off. (But USUALLY don’t require large amounts of overtime; Walmart would rather hire another cashier to work a shift, then pay one cashier 1.5x after 40 hours have already been logged). Union jobs tend to have many benefits negotiated for their members including time off and strict rules around over time proceedures and monitoring of those rules for abuse. Many ‘White Collar’ jobs tend to be where the sweet spot of good salary, regular hours and good benefits/time off occur. I don’t think that… Read more »

jim
jim
9 years ago
Reply to  Gerard

Amerians get an average of 2-4 weeks vacation depending on seniority. We start with 2 weeks then typically get 3 weeks aver 5-10 years then by 20 years average is 4 weeks. This is private work force (not government).
See:
http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits/2009/ownership/civilian/table23a.pdf

I got 4 weeks paid vacation at 10 years with unlimited sick days.

Obviously YMMV.

Alex
Alex
9 years ago
Reply to  Gerard

Right, and that’s why companies and countries are booming, because employees work 37.5 hours a week with 6 weeks off.

Much of the wealth in Europe is still old money, and unless Europe increases its productivity in some way, it will start losing against giants like China, etc.

Gerard
Gerard
9 years ago
Reply to  Alex

I strongly disagree Alex, very strongly. First off, Europe, despite what the EU tries to portray is not one happy continent. There are big differences between the North and the South. Second, working 37,5 hours is what some companies do, but certainly not all. Yes, there are areas where Europe is getting fat and complacent, much like ancient Rome, and yes, we do have a very elaborate wellfare system and people take advantage of it. And yes, people do shun away form physical work and manufacturing and engineering and prefer government jobs and bank jobs and unsurance jobs. That is… Read more »

Gerard
Gerard
9 years ago
Reply to  Gerard

Sorry Jim, but in Europe we get those 5 weeks regardless of seniority. You get it from day one.

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