On August 3, the US Department of Labor reported unemployment at 3.9%, with an annual growth rate in wages of 2.7%.  Secretary Alexander Acosta indicated that “it is clear that wage growth must increase.  Further wage increases will add a great benefit to the American workforce.”  While increased wages help to stimulate spending and, therefore, economic growth, companies themselves must be diligent in defining appropriate compensation structures that consider the value of the position within its marketplace, pay levels that serve to attract and retain the right talent, other benefits that provide value to the employment relationship, and, ultimately, what the company can afford to pay.  Companies are continuing to realize the need to evaluate market competitiveness on an ongoing basis, and redefine processes that will help to achieve the basic compensation objectives – attract, retain, focus, and motivate.