Wages and benefits grew fast for U.S. workers in the first three months of the year. This, is in fact, proof that businesses are starting to offer higher pay to fill newly-opening jobs.
Wages and Benefits Rose
In the January-March quarter, U.S. workers’ total compensation rose 0.9%. In more than 13 years, it was the largest gain, the Labor Department said. Moreover, that is up from 0.7% in the final three months of last year. However, it still, the increase which is just above 0.8% gains in two quarters in 2018.
In fact, the unemployment rate initially shot to nearly 15% before declining steadily to 6% in March. Moreover, the strong rise came after weaker increases during the pandemic. The year ending March, workers’ pay and benefits rose to just 2.6%. A year earlier, It was down from 2.8%.
Wages and Benefits Rose: Data from the Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index
From the Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index, there is data. It does measure pay changes for workers that do keep their jobs. It isn’t coming from a direct source that is affecting by mass layoffs such as the pandemic job losses that occurring last spring.
Those figures show that as the economy is basically reopening, therefore, more Americans are willing to venture out to the restaurants, bars, and shops, businesses are in the position they have to give higher pay and benefits to draw workers back into the job market. However, there are many businesses that have had a hard time finding people to take jobs, despite still high unemployment.
Americans Reluctant to Take Jobs Because of COVID-19 Threats
Because of the potential of contracting the Corona Virus, some Americans are hesitant to take jobs in industries like restaurants, hotels, and bars. However, women, have constraints like childcare obligations. In addition, there is a generous federal supplement to unemployment benefits of $300 a week. This, may or may not, keep some unemployed people on the sidelines. Moreover, that benefit ends on September 6th.
Government Stimulus Checks, Unemployment Aid
In March, the overall income grew by a record amount. In a separate report, it is bolstering by $1,400 government stimulus checks and unemployment aid to roughly 18 million Americans. However, incomes have soared 21.1%. Thus, spending rose 4.2%. This is a sign that a good part of the income was saving. Moreover, it may be spent in ensuing months.