I have a friend who works in public health and was recently given a "promotion" in recognition of her hard work. The promotion included quite a lot more responsibility and international travel, but when she asked about the corresponding pay increase, she was told "now is not a good time because of the economy" – and given a miserly increase that represents less than 1% of her salary. She was interested in the new aspects of project work but ironically now resents the manager who gave it to her. A good way her manager could have handled this was to ask if she would have taken on the project work with a view to a promotion with an appropriate salary increase in a few months time, rather than making her feel devalued and showing her boss she will work for less - a move she now regrets. If you are on the receiving end of a "the economy is bad' excuse during your next pay review, focus not on the economy but on your value to the organisation and the level of work you would be taking on. Or agree to take on some aspects of increased responsibility in exchange for a 3 month review. How have you worked around a "the ecomony is bad" excuse?