The American Supply Association recently released its 2020 Cross-Industry & Compensation Report (using data collected from 2019). The report, published by ASA business intelligence partner Industry Insights, is conducted with 23 other wholesale-distributor associations. This year’s report features 905 companies across all industries, including the PHCP-PVF industry. Data from more than 10,000 branches was gathered and analyzed.

The report covers a variety of metrics that range from top-10 benefits offered to employees to top-five issues facing industries to companies that allow personal time off (PTO) to be carried over into the next year or allow unused PTO to be compensated for. A significant section of the report is dedicated to sales compensation. Median and average compensation levels range from executive level to inventory manager to driver and delivery personnel. 

During 2019, the U.S. economy continued to show steady economic growth, but it was beginning to slow. The real GDP has been trending positive each of the past 10 years with 2019 seeing a growth of 2.3%. Economic confidence and expansion continued in 2019, which led to new jobs (and a job surplus), hiring increases, and upward pressure on compensation packages. Real GDP growth for 2020 was originally forecast to be in the low 2% range. Now, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most are forecasting a decline of 4% to 6% for 2020. Based on the survey responses for this year’s Cross-Industry Compensation and Benefits Report, 2020 was projected to be in line with this upward trend from 2018 and 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic has started to impact this. 

As unemployment levels decrease, the talent pool gets smaller and wages tend to rise. The unemployment rate in 2010 was 9.6% and fell to an average of 3.7% in 2019. Unemployment went from a low of 3.5% in December 2019 to 14.7% in April 2020. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is projecting annual unemployment rates of more than 10% for the next two years, with the unemployment rate falling to 9.5% by the end of 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought record turnover rates, as millions of employees have been laid off/furloughed. Additionally, quit rates have fallen to five-year lows.

While many economists were predicting a decline in 2020, no one could have forecast the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact that is being felt by the U.S., and global economies for the foreseeable future. This will be the most impactful event for most of our lifetimes. Much of 2019 continued to have record employment figures that continued to make the employment market so tight, forcing companies to pay premiums to hire additional staff to meet demand. The COVID-19 pandemic forced 26 million unemployment filings over the five-week period from March 13 – April 18, 2020. This certainly creates a vastly different employment market for 2020, and puts an enormous strain on an economy that is heavily dependent on consumer spending. The U.S. government acted swiftly to provide support through various stimulus packages, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough to bridge the gap until the economy fully opens back up.

To learn more or to buy the 2020 ASA Cross-Industry Compensation & Benefits Report, please contact ASA Business Intelligence Analyst Ayesha Salman at