Performance appraisals; raises

We’re still waiting for HR to finalize their plans for performance appraisals this year. They are redoing the form and the rating system, and will be redoing the goals themselves next year, so I expect both pushback and changes.

Raises are, of course, determined in large part by the appraisals. The escalation the past few years has been right around 3.5%, which means the raise pool can’t be much different from 3.5%. I don’t expect this year to be any different. Pete Stockman yesterday mentioned that the JWST contract was flat, without any escalation, so we’ll have to reduce the work to make even “cost of living” increases possible.

The CPI this year is shaping up to quite a bit higher than the last few years. This morning BLS put out the monthly CPI updates. The CPI-U is up 4.3%, and there are disturbing trends in the underlying data. The transportation index, for example, is up 9%, and the energy index is up a whopping 23.6%. For the Northeast (where I live) the overall index is higher — 4.9%.

I don’t see an immediate change in the CPI, and people I know who actually do economics are worried about a return to “stagflation” of the sort seen in the late 70s and early 80s. That would be bad. Hopefully Bernanke has some good ideas about avoiding that problem.


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