According to JCK's annual salary survey, the year 2003 wasn't a very good one for many working in U.S. retail jewelry stores. Almost every job category posted a decline from 2002 in both median base pay and total pay, with the biggest drop (–21%) felt by salespeople. The only exceptions were top execs (owners, presidents, chief executive officers), whose median pay was unchanged, and office staff, who posted a 4.2% gain—small consolation for one of the lowest-paying job categories in a jewelry store. Retail jewelry store salaries, in general, didn't just fail to keep pace with both the rate of U.S. inflation (+2.27%) and the consumer price index (+1.9%) in 2003 but actually trailed far behind them. The survey finds that while jewelry store employees had significant pay gains in all categories in the 1990s, that momentum has slowed in this decade, and a few haven't benefited at all.