Design Firm Principals Dodge Pay Cuts

Despite the economic slowdown last year, ZweigWhite researchers found that in 2001, only 5% of design firm principals took paycuts, and at a median average of 10% less than their 2000 salaries.

04/10/2002


Despite the economic slowdown last year, ZweigWhite researchers found that in 2001, only 5% of design firm principals took paycuts, and at a median average of 10% less than their 2000 salaries.

"I'm surprised at the low number of firms that report having cut principal pay," commented Kathryn Sprankle, a senior vice president at the Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite. "Some industry firms got through the downturn relatively unscathed, particularly those involved in public infrastructure work, but most companies tightened their belts and trimmed costs, not only in response to a general slowdown in work, but also in anticipation of whatever lies ahead."

Where did those budget cuts come from? ZweigWhite researchers suggest that benefits and compensation for lower-level staff may have borne some of the brunt.

"Cutting principal pay should occur before reducing the pay and benefits of other staff," advised Sprankle. "I don't know which is worse for a firm: losing disenfranchised staff resentful of bearing the burden of needed cost-cutting or having to let them go as work slows and the firm can't afford to keep them." For more information on ZweigWhite's "2002 Principals, Partners & Owners Survey," log on to: www.zweigwhite.com .





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