I'm very happy to have a good paying job and to have remained gainfully employed for the past 14 years.
I previously told my own personal financial story in a 4 part series. In part 4 of that I shared how my salary started at around $42,000 a year in 1997 and then grew to over $100,000 by 2009.
Here is the trend in my salary & total W2 earnings over the years:
My W2 earnings are a bit more than my salary due to profit sharing bonuses and stock benefits that I also get from my employer. Those extra benefits are above my normal base salary. The salary is fixed but the bonuses vary based on how well the company does.
I've gotten pretty good raises over the years. Three times in 1999, 2000 and 2008 I received promotions and in those years I got large pay raises. The percentage increase in my pay annually looks like this :
The promotions made a huge difference in the growth of my pay over the years. If you remove those big raises and replace them with a more standard raise level of 3% then my pay would be about 2/3 of what it is today. Similarly if my pay had only grown with the rate of inflation then the $42,700 I made in 1997 would be equivalent to making about $59,800 today. My pay has grown about twice as fast as the rate of inflation.