LinkedIn launches Salary, a tool that taps into user data to chart earnings across the globe

The portal collects and analyzes salaries across jobs globally, which people can then use to better understand the compensation landscape of their given field.

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LinkedIn's new Salary portal. Via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn's Economic Graph initiative took another step forward November 2 with the launch of LinkedIn Salary, a new portal that collects and analyzes salaries across jobs globally, which people can then use to better understand the compensation landscape of their given field.

Effectively, the Economic Graph concept is LinkedIn's goal to digitally map the global workforce. This includes creating a profile for every working person, a profile for every company in the world, and a digital representation of every job and every skill set required to obtain those jobs.

LinkedIn -- which is being acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion -- doubled down on the Economic Graph concept last year when it acquired online learning site Lynda.com to help LinkedIn members obtain the necessary skills for the world's available jobs.

The launch of Salary is now one more feature in LinkedIn's portfolio of services for job seekers, and an important addition to the Economic Graph effort. In a blog post, LinkedIn said Salary is one of the most robust compensation tools around thanks to the data available from its more than 460 million members.

"This includes salary, bonus, and equity data for specific job titles, and the different factors that impact pay such as years of experience, industry, company size, location, and education level -- all of which becomes critical knowledge as you navigate your career," LinkedIn wrote. "Also, rest assured that when you enter your salary, it's immediately encrypted and remains private."

That last mention of privacy is important, especially if LinkedIn wants to position the Salary service as alternative to Glassdoor, which is the predominant supplier of information pertaining to company reputation and salary ranges. LinkedIn obviously has an edge because it owns the candidate database, but Salary could help the company gain more nuanced candidate data and sentiment.

Eventually, LinkedIn envisions adding more data to the Salary tool so that it can make precise recommendations on where to work, what to learn, and how to best evolve a career.

LinkedIn said the Salary is available to all users, but Premium members can use the service without having to hand over their salary information (which is what non-paying users will have to do). Premium members will also have access to salary details in the site's job search results.

At launch, LinkedIn Salary will be available on desktop and mobile to users in the US, Canada, and UK, with plans to expand the platform globally in 2017.

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