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If you need further assistance, please call ERI customer service at 1.800.627.3697

  • "What exactly does ERI do? What is the value of ERI's products to me?"

    ERI has an extensive talent pool, with specialties in areas such as statistics, mathematics, software development, and global total rewards management, to design and provide best-in-class interactive software, updated quarterly, with consensus results from the most reliable survey sources.

    ERI maintains several databases, tracking wage and salary information (as well as cost of living information) for the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and other countries around the world. Data for each country is maintained separately.

    ERI's Assessor Series® captures and combines the strengths of the Internet and over 30 years of research to provide instantaneous answers to your most pressing compensation questions.

    ERI's goal is to be your organization's compensation research outsource. You can duplicate ERI's calculations if you want to spend the time and resources required to collect, compile, and analyze the thousands of data points that comprise any one city's wage and salary rates, as well as cost of living levels. However, subscribers can now spend this time and these resources administering pay and performing the many other duties demanded by today's Human Resource positions.

    ERI researchers save you time and money!

  • "Where do these numbers come from? How do you compile wage and salary data? Where do you get your cost of living data?"

    Salary and Wage Data:
    ERI collects data from thousands of available salary surveys, not just those published by the largest survey firms. We collect available salary survey data for jobs and areas; evaluate each survey for validity, reliability, and use; and compile updated market values for positions with comparable responsibilities.

    Analysis is conducted on wages by geographic area, size of company, years of experience, and industry. Data values are automatically updated to match today's market movement rates, and our default projected market increase projections, like the other variables, can be adjusted at your preference.

    Our subscribers are provided with convenient and easy-to-use market value results: the use of Assessor Series software databases involves choosing a position title and viewing the current market prices. Results are reported according to the predictive variables, and all methodologies are detailed for complete defensibility.

    ERI results are all market based and reflect current market values.

    ERI labor cost data for European countries comes from their National Statistics/Labour Offices.

    In cases where no surveys were conducted for a job in a specific city, ERI will use contiguous area wage data in concert with our proprietary economic studies to report wage levels for that job in that location. Contiguous area wage data and economic studies are used only for small areas where limited or no specific wage survey is conducted. ERI wage data is based on the market's price of jobs. Comparable worth concepts and job evaluation concepts differ from market pricing and are not (and have never been) part of ERI's market pricing methodology.

    ERI applies no "magic" with our collection of survey data, creation of a master database, and market value distillations. Subscribers might also produce these results, should they wish to conduct research for decades and spend the time and money collecting the thousands of national and local area surveys now conducted worldwide by consulting, trade, association, private, and government entities. Job matches are confirmed by comparison of the position descriptions compiled for each of the positions found in the Salary Assessor® or Executive Compensation Assessor® software and databases.

    Cost of Living Data:
    ERI downloads actual housing sales data from commercially available sources. Gasoline, consumables, medical care premium costs, and effective income tax rates are also just as accurate, and ERI research staff audit these sources with special area research projects. Again, what distinguishes ERI from other cost of living sources is that we attempt to provide an affordable in-house resource rather than an expensive consulting service.

  • "How soon can I be using your software?"

    You can be using the software in just a few minutes. A credit card purchase permits immediate access to the dataset. If you prefer to pay from an invoice or by check, please call our Subscriber Services at 800.627.3697 (US/Canada).

  • "How many people can use a subscription?"

    Each annual software subscription is for a single user designated by the purchasing enterprise. The identity of each authorized licensed user must be registered with ERI. Multiple-user licenses are available for an additional licensing fee.

  • "How do I transfer access from an existing user to a new user?"

    You can send the request in an email to info.eri@erieri.com. Please provide your account number (if you know it) and the name of the company. Include the name of the current user and provide the following information for the new user: name, title, billing address (if different from current user), phone, and email address.

    ERI will send an email to the new user with new credentials instructions so he/she can begin using the program.

  • "How does your data compare with other firms that provide cost of living or wage and salary data?"

    ERI's research analysts know of no other single source that offers both wage/salary information and cost of living information.

    For cost of living data, due to the continued use of data collection techniques of the 1940s, our competitors have to charge more for one report than ERI charges for an annual subscription to the Relocation Assessor® software and databases. ERI collects cost of living data more efficiently and inexpensively, and passes those savings on to subscribers.

    For salary and wage data, you could purchase individual survey sources and conduct an in-house analysis of those sources, or you could purchase compiled wage data from a third-party supplier via a hardcopy report or Internet download. However, ERI offers advantages over both these options.

    Purchasing one of our competitors' surveys is almost always more expensive; one survey can cost as much as an annual subscription to an Assessor Series application that allows for an unlimited number of analyses. Our competitors' individual surveys profile only a fraction of the data available for any given position or area, and they report neither the large number of job titles included in ERI's databases, nor adjustments for the number of industries and areas available to Assessor Series subscribers.

    Purchasing compiled wage data from a third-party supplier also has its drawbacks. Quite often these third-party suppliers require an annual or multi-year contract. ERI's Assessor Series offers the advantages of more wage data and more features at a fraction of the cost.

    As a research firm (engaged in research, not marketing/sales), ERI has been collecting and analyzing data from thousands of salary surveys for over 30 years. Most of the third-party suppliers on the Internet have only been in business for a few years. ERI's new executive compensation survey is the largest compensation survey in history.

    ERI's approach to evaluating survey data for validity, as well as the analyses we use to compile data, also differ from our competitors. ERI utilizes a completely different set of position titles, position descriptions, geographic areas, industries, and even types of company/organization size when compared to other companies. The detailed way in which we report data varies greatly from our competitors.

    ERI's Assessor Series offers many advantages when compared to third-party compilers of wage data.

    ERI provides:

    • information on survey sources, standard error, and survey population
    • job code information for each position, as well as job code/industry crosswalks
    • information for more than 9,000 position titles in more than 9,000 geographic areas, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and other countries around the world.
    • survey description briefs (one-paragraph summaries) and detailed position descriptions based on the format of the original Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT)
    • interactive software that permits the selection of specific peer comparables for competitive analysis

    Furthermore, ERI recognizes the greater complexities involved in determining executive compensation vs. non-executive compensation, and provides the added benefit of quickly downloading full proxies and 10-Ks for comparable companies (for greater defensibility and illustration of identifiable practices).

  • "What is the difference between cost of living and geographic wage differentials?"

    Wage and salary differentials reflect the local demand for and supply of labor.

    Cost of living is dictated by the local demand for and supply of goods and services. Local wages and salaries do not indicate the local cost of living. Cost of living indicates the comparable local buying power for any given salary.

    The cost of living data that goes into ERI databases are downloaded from existing sources. This data includes: rental rates, income taxes, property taxes, gasoline prices, medical costs/services, major retail grocery and drug store prices, etc. Cost of living differentials, as reported by ERI, reflect cost models at different income levels (e.g., an auto of "x" value driven "y" miles/kilometers, home rental with no mortgage income tax deductions, home ownership with income tax mortgage deductions in North America, etc.).

    Most compensation professionals agree that when a company is hiring from the local work force (that is, when no transfer or relocation occurs), wages and salaries should be set according to market pricing of wages and salaries only. In general, branch pay should be dictated by market pricing of wage/salary differentials only.

    While employees may find it more desirable for their pay to be adjusted for local cost of living variances, this is an unusual practice. In many cases, this practice is not cost effective for the employer. That is, in many cases the employer would be competing against organizations with relatively lower compensation costs, and thus, be at a competitive disadvantage.

    In most cases, cost of living is considered only when an employee incurs new expenses due to an "internal" move, from one branch office to another. In this situation, the new salary would be set according to the destination market (local wage and salary level). Then, any cost of living allowance would be awarded separately from salary and for a finite period of time.

    It is undesirable to build a cost of living adjustment into salary, as the integrity of the current salary administration program will be compromised. For instance, the transfer of personnel into an office where locally hired employees are earning lower salaries than the transferee's "cost of living adjusted salary" is an undesirable and avoidable situation. The transfer of personnel into an area where local competitors' employees are earning higher salaries than the transferee's "cost of living adjusted salary" is an equally undesirable and avoidable situation. Better solutions would include the award of a one-time (lump sum) moving bonus, or a gradually decreasing three-year cost of living allowance that is awarded separately from the new locally adjusted competitive salary. Each organization's unique situation (tax considerations, cash-flow, etc.) will dictate the best method for handling cost of living allowances.

    A random telephone survey by ERI's Director found that only 2% of ERI subscribers pay "the same for all jobs nationally, but vary levels by the cost of living." All other surveyed subscribers stated that they ignore cost of living and concentrate on supply and demand/local market pricing to administer geographic pay differentials.

  • "What is the difference between the US government's Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), the new O*NET system, and ERI's enhanced DOT database?"

    When ERI released the first Salary Assessor software application over 30 years ago, it was thought that the US Department of Labor's Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) descriptions could greatly assist in creating the format for position descriptions. But when ERI applied its position incorporation policy (that positions common enough to be found in three or more salary surveys be added to the ERI database), we found thousands of positions not covered in the DOT. In fact, over 80% of the Salary Assessor's jobs were not found among the DOT's 12,000+ titles. By the time ERI had concluded that the DOT was too outdated to be relied upon, we had already adopted the DOT's construct. For over 30 years, ERI has been updating outmoded DOT descriptions and adding new ones, utilizing Internet technology to update all applicable worker characteristic measures.

    Today, the DOT has been discontinued by the US government and replaced by a job-family approach, the O*NET. The DOT's analysis measures have been replaced by over 600 O*NET questions, but few of these relate to career interest, which goes to the core of rehabilitation and career changing analyses. In combination, all these O*NET questions can't seem to answer the question of whether or not a person is disabled. Career changers, or the professionals who assist them, are not well served by O*NET. But ERI, in connection with ERI, has been directly updating the original DOT. ERI provides hundreds of organizations with job analysis services. Combining ERI job analysis capabilities and eDOT creates synergies in understanding jobs and effectively matching people's qualifications with jobs. ERI's enhanced Dictionary of Occupational Titles (eDOT) database provides up-to-date job titles and descriptions and filters them based on keywords, industry, DOT attributes, cross walked job codes, physical/mental abilities, and job requirements. These are used in the Occupational Assessor® software, with subscribers that include vocational experts, attorneys, disability insurers, and state Workers' Compensation agencies.

  • "Which companies use ERI data?"

    A number of voluntary subscriber disclosures about reliance on ERI data are cited in customer testimonials and corporate proxies and periodically appear in other authorized releases or public declarations. ERI does not release listings of the names of its subscribers. A complete listing or count of all users for over 30 years would be problematic since users might not reveal their identities to ERI, entities change names, and current subscriber populations are constantly increasing. In general, ERI's research database subscriptions are available to management, analysts and consultants and are now widely used by client organizations (thousands of corporate and consulting subscribers). Subscribers include corporate compensation, relocation, human resources, and other professionals, as well as independent consultants and counselors, and US and Canadian public sector administrators (including military, law enforcement, city/county, state/provincial, and federal government pay administrators). With the introduction of the Occupational Assessor (eDOT), vocational rehabilitation counselors, forensic economists, immigration attorneys and a host of other niche professionals are now joining as subscribers. For those interested in nonprofits, the Nonprofit Comparables Assessor (CA) is the definitive and comprehensive census of nonprofit executive pay used by IRS, charities, foundations and their consultants. ERI analyses are not available to the general public.

  • "Does ERI provide salaries for interns?"

    ERI only reports rates from surveys. Internships, being typically temporary or seasonal work, tend not to be covered by surveys of competitive pay because their rates are set internally, usually at levels just below the lowest level for the full-time equivalent jobs they fit.

    ERI recommends you pay interns around the 10th or 15th percentiles for first-year incumbents of the positions they fill. This assures these trainees do not make more than current full-time incumbents of comparable jobs.

    Another option is to compare notes with other local employers in your industry, because intern rates tend to be extremely localized and customized to specific industries. Trading with rivals will assure that interns are paid comparably across organizations.

  • "What background regarding ERI can I share with management when discussing my organization's use of ERI data?"

    ERI Economic Research Institute serves thousands of corporate subscribers and thousands of consultants, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies in a role that was once filled (internally) by corporate statisticians, operations researchers, wage economists, industrial engineers, compensation analysts, and similar middle-level management support positions that have largely disappeared from Human Resource departments. At its simplest, ERI collects data from thousands of available salary and cost of living surveys, and prepares reports and software analyses by which managers may make decisions. ERI is an outsource of compensation research.

    See About ERI for more information.

  • "I'm having trouble using an ERI software application. How can I contact Subscriber Services?"

    For inquiries regarding ERI products, please use one of the following support options:

    Phone: (800) 627 3697
    Email: info.eri@erieri.com
    ERI Economic Research Institute
    111 Academy Dr.
    Suite 270
    Irvine, CA 92617

    Hours of Operation:
    Subscriber Services: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday, excluding major holidays