Money Minute: Workers' Wages Inch Up; Netflix Raises Rates


Most workers should expect just a small increase in pay this year.

After adjusting for inflation, most employers expect to give pay hikes of zero to three percent. The good news is: that's actually better than we've seen in recent years. Inflation-adjusted pay actually fell slightly over the past three years. The outlook for hiring is slightly improved, too. The survey by the National Assocation of Business Economics shows 40 percent of employers plan to increase hiring this year.

Netflix (NFLX) is raising prices over the next month or two. It says the monthly cost of its streaming service will go up by $1 or $2, but only for new subscribers. The rate for existing subscribers will hold steady. (AMZN) recently raised the price for its streaming service by $20 a year to $99, but the company's Prime service also includes free two-day shipping for most Amazon purchases. You might recall, the last time Netflix tried to impose a price hike, there was a mini-rebellion, and the company quickly rescinded the increase.

The United Auto Workers unions has decided not to challenge the vote against unionizing a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee. The union dropped its appeal just before a National Labor Relations Bureau hearing Monday to review the vote by workers there back in February. They had voted down a union by a narrow margin, but the UAW alleged the vote was unfairly influenced by comments from the state's governor and one of its senators.

Here on Wall Street on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 40 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 26, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 7 points. The S&P is now riding a five session winning streak, its best since last October.

Finally, a book on the rising problems created by income inequality by a French economist tops Amazon's best-seller list. The book by Thomas Piketty, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," has sold out. In fact, it has sold more copies than any other book in the 101-year history of Harvard University Press.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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These 9 Maps Should Absolutely Outrage Southerners

These maps are a blatant demonstration of the absolute failure of Republican and conservative policies. And yet these people will keep voting to destroy themselves. Resentment and hatred, combined with profound ignorance, are a powerful tool that the Rs use to maintain political power.

April 23 2014 at 8:26 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Tom Wilson

There’s a reason the salaries of CEO have increased faster than those of salaried employees is that the demands of both jobs have changed over time. In the 1960’s, the managers of corporations faced little global competition. They were typically middle managers who eventually ascended to the CEO position. Today, there is fierce competition from overseas, and shareholders have shown a willingness to reward managers that can provide what is called “alpha”. (Alpha value is the ability of a active CEO to generate high risk adjusted returns through their approachand their stradegy). During that same period, the skills of a salaried worker have not improved. I should also point out that not including the health and pension benefits of workers is somewhat disingenuous. When you factor in the value of employer provided health care alone (let alone salary and pensions), the total compensation for employees has more than tripled since the 1960s.

April 22 2014 at 4:50 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Netflix is a bargain at $15 a month. Cable..watching corporate TV, seeing commercials, at near $200 a month?
As for People interjecting political arguments into this thread, That is just silly whether you are a supporter of Obama or the Republicans neither party really cares about your Netflix fees.

April 22 2014 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We are still making less in real terms than we were 30 years ago.

April 22 2014 at 1:45 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

I was very happy to receive a 2% increase this year after receiving zero the last two years. Then they moved someone out of my department and added their work onto mine.

Now the 2% pales compared to the 98% the company is saving.

April 22 2014 at 12:19 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

On a brighter note, I have the honor of firing more useless Democrats on Friday.

April 22 2014 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember when our raises dropped from 6-8% down to 1-2% around the early 90's. That was under Jack Welch, who almost brought the company down because he wanted to jump on the band wagon of high finance rather than stay in manufacturing. Henry Ford said, to paraphrase, if I don't pay my workers a decent wage, who's going to buy my cars? Aren't American Corporations doing just the opposite, keeping wages low, hampering consumer spending?

April 22 2014 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Tom Harrell

If I'm not Mistaken, Netflix tried this a few years ago and FAILED Miserably.--------------I guess they just "DON'T WANT OUR BUSINESS" !

April 22 2014 at 10:59 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Tom Harrell

Wages inch up and Cost of living Inches up. Wages Stagnate and cost of living Inches up. Wages DROP, and cost of living Inches up.-----It SUCKS to be a Consumer.

April 22 2014 at 10:55 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Billionaires' Tea Party, The
How Corporate America is Faking a Grassroots Revolution

Shortly after Barack Obama and a Congressional Democrats swept to power promising a new era of hope and change, a citizens protest movement emerged threatening to derail their agenda. The Tea Party was widely hailed as a exercise in grassroots democracy. But others saw it as a classic example of "astroturfing," a public relations charade designed to mimic a populist revolt. Curious to find out for himself, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham decided to travel into the heart of the movement. The result is this astonishing look at how moneyed elites have been exploiting legitimate voter outrage to advance their own narrow interests. Oldham takes us inside town hall meetings where angry voters parrot insurance industry PR; finds "citizen groups" working to debunk climate change that are funded by big oil companies; and peels back a movement's down-home image to discover a coordinated network of right-wing shadow groups funded by the likes of billionaire ideologue Charles and David Koch. At once a record of our political moment, and a stunning case study in the power of public relations.

April 22 2014 at 10:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply