HR Answers: Salary strategies to help staff manage the rising cost of living

Credit unions leverage a mix of compensation adjustments and one-time bonuses to address inflation.

In July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index—a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for goods and services—increased 9.1% between June 2021 and June 2022. “The 9.1-percent increase in the all items index was the largest 12-month increase since the 12-month period ending November 1981,” said the report.

The numbers haven’t improved much since then. The 12-month percentage change in September 2022 for all items in the CPI (the latest data available from the Bureau at the time of writing) was 8.2% before seasonal adjustment. “Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest of many contributors to the monthly seasonally adjusted all items increase,” according to a CPI Summary released on Oct. 13. Food prices rose by 11.2% over the past year, and energy costs soared 19.8% despite a decline in the gasoline index in September.

What should CUs do about inflation?

Despite the record numbers, rising inflation and cost of living aren’t news to anyone paying the bills, and many employers have been considering salary and other compensation adjustments accordingly, amid an already tight labor market.


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