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So-called dry promotions—the kind that bring bigger responsibilities without a pay increase—present a career dilemma. And some data suggest they’re becoming more common as companies manage their talent with tighter budgets.

Of employers recently polled by compensation and leadership consultancy Pearl Meyer, 13% said they are relying on new job titles to reward employees when money for raises was limited, up from 8% in 2018.

Consider no-raise promotions a sign of workers’ ebbing leverage now that labor shortages have eased and companies are cutting costs where they can. Dry promotions tend to climb in times of economic uncertainty, executives and pay consultants say. Companies doled out hefty raises just to keep hold of workers when labor was in shorter supply. Now, some managers are shifting the duties of laid-off workers to remaining staff without a commensurate bump in pay.

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