As companies vie for workers, wages in USA climb 2.9%

03 November, 2018, 15:27 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • U.S. workers see fastest wage increase in a decade

US companies added jobs in October at the healthiest pace in eight months, and wages rose by the most in a decade, the latest evidence of the durable strength of the USA job market.

Following a robust third fiscal quarter, wages and salaries in the USA are up by 0.9 percent this month so far - 3.1 percent this year - which is the highest level in a decade. From September of 2016 to September of 2017, wages and salaries rose 2.5 percent, the Labor Department said.

Rising wages should help support consumer spending and soften the hit to the economy from a softening housing market and stalling business investment. That compared with the median estimate of economists for a 0.7 percent increase.

In the private sector, compensation climbed almost 3 percent over the a year ago, wages and salaries jumped 3.1 percent and benefits 2.5 percent, the department reported.


Private sector wages and salaries rose 0.8 percent in the third quarter after increasing 0.6 percent in the prior period. Hourly compensation also increased at a brisk pace in the third quarter. The ECI is widely viewed by policymakers and economists as a reliable predictor of core inflation. "The Fed raised borrowing costs in September for the third time this year". He added that the gains are a "testimonial to the robust employment picture is the broad-based gains in jobs across industries". They were up 3.1% in the 12 months through September, the biggest increase since Q-2 of Y 2008.

With 3.7 percent unemployment, some economists view the jobs market as being close to or at full employment. The 3.1 percent annual gain in education and health services was the biggest in a decade, and transportation and warehousing pay got a 4.3 percent boost over the past year, the most since the three months ending September 2002.

State and local government wages increased 0.9 percent after advancing 0.5 percent in the second quarter. The U.S. central bank is expected to raise rates again in December. Wages and salaries make up roughly 70 percent of compensation costs for USA firms, while nonpay benefits take the other 30 percent.Wage growth slowed substantially after the great recession and has lagged behind the massive growth in U.S.jobs and equity markets throughout the recovery. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

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