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Agree with you - companies ought to recognise increases in market rate/inflation, plus an increase for experience/responsibility. Employees need to recognise that receiving only one of these is a snub.

> Therefore, if the market actually paid less for a job this year than last, then the employee would receive no adjustment.

This strikes me as a likely reason for structural inflation: companies can pay less for the same job (if they choose), without needing to negotiate a highly awkward pay decrease. It's psychologically harder for an employee to argue against the status quo.




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