Friday, March 13, 2009

No Sign of Pay Cuts

I have pointed out that, as of January, payroll spending has hardly fallen, despite the four percent drop in the number of persons on payrolls. That is, those who kept their jobs are still getting paid well.

Yesterday the U.S. Treasury reported payroll tax collections for February. As with most of the previous months, those collections exceed what they were in the previous year -- see the chart below. Thus, I do not expect much (if any) of a reduction in payroll spending in February.

This is good news if you keep your job. This is bad news if you think high employee pay encourages employers to fire people.

[technical note: tax collections are highly seasonal, so my chart shows each month as compared to the same month in the previous year].


Anon said...

How would those individuals who have started working a 2nd job influence payroll tax collections. I think it would be fascinating to attempt to find out the number of individuals who now work 2 or more jobs since the recession started. I think it could play a role in payroll tax collections. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that it would be interesting to compare recessionary periods by how many people work more than 1 job. How does this recession compare to other recessions when viewed through those individuals who felt compelled to get a 2nd job?

Milton Recht said...

Reductions in fringe benefits will not reduce payroll taxes.

Tino said...


The number of people with two or more jobs is the same now as it was one year ago (7.676 million vs. 7.610 million). As a share of the workforce it's slightly higher tough.