More workers hit with pay cuts than in last recession, and stagnant wages could linger


In the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic in early spring, with revenue plunging 70%, Dallas software company CEO Rishi Khanna quickly decided to cut the salaries of all 12 of his employees rather than lay some of them off.

Job cuts, he says, would have hurt employee morale at the firm, ISHIR. Plus, he adds, “we did not want to lose any of our key people.”

And with layoffs ravaging the economy, staffers were receptive to the pay cuts even though they still put in 40 hours or more a week.

“I knew many people that were already being furloughed or totally laid off,” says Bill Luisi, ISHIR’s senior director of sales, who took a 20% pay cut. “I felt grateful to have an opportunity.”