Compensation Data Facts - What's What in Compensation
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History of compensation and wages... There aren't pay stubs from the early days so it's difficult to pinpoint when a work-for-pay exchange began, but salaried employment appears to have been relatively rare and mostly limited to higher status roles, especially in government.
Early colonial records reference "high American wages" dating back to the beginning of the United States. In the early 1600s, money was very scarce and rarely used in the payment of wages. Instead, a barter system existed throughout the first century which allowed the even exchange of goods or services between tradesmen. Wages were often quoted in "tobacco notes" since tobacco was the highest standard of value in which items could be purchased. In New England, "country pay," mainly agricultural products such as corn, and ****** skin were the preferred method of compensation.