Looks better than it feels

The bright side: public-sector benefits still better: Even though they've taken a hit, public benefits packages still provide more than those offered to private-industry workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Raise expectations up for second year: Do you expect your pay to increase, decrease, or stay the same within the next 12 months? Good news: The amount of survey respondents expecting pay cuts or freezes tapered off last year, and fell at least another percentage point this year. Even better news: the number of respondents who expect their salary to increase rose last year and then again this year. (Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.) Source: PUBLIC WORKS

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