Higher Pay Ahead? Wage Growth Perks Up

2/1/2016
Stephen Miller

In the fourth quarter of 2015, U.S. wages across all industries showed signs of growth after years of stagnation. Wages rose 1.1 percent in the last quarter, bringing the average 12-month increase to 1.5 percent, according to Seattle-based consultancy PayScale Inc.

But taking inflation into account, average wages for typical workers buy less today than in 2006. That’s because “real” wages (adjusted for inflation) have fallen since the 2009-09 recession. Small wonder that worker dissastisfaction with their compensation has remained high. Last year Mercer found that only 55 percent of surveyed U.S. workers felt they were being paid fairly, down from 57 percent in 2011.

“Our economy has produced a bleak landscape for wages across almost every industry since the recession,” said Katie Bardaro, vice president of data analytics at PayScale. “While wage growth was still tepid in the fourth quarter, it was encouraging to see that U.S. wages exceeded expectations and that real wages showed signs of improvement.”

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