Wages continue to stagnate across the US economy, according to the latest US jobs report.
Wages grew 2.5% from the past year, just missing economists’ expectations of a 2.6% increase.
Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at consumer financial services company Bankrate.com, called the sluggish report “universally disappointing.”
“This is just confirmation that we’re still waiting for the wage growth train to arrive at the station,” he tells Business Insider.
That being said, Hamrick says that it’s important for individuals not to dismiss the report’s findings, nor to feel discouraged by them.
“Very often people will look at these headlines and some will say, ‘That’s not my experience, and therefore the data is suspect,'” he says. “What I would say is, with careers, with the job market, the key really is location, location, location. Your results may vary based on where you’re located and what sector you’re working in. While it does speak to the overall trend, that’s not to say that individuals can’t make substantial improvement in their own careers.”
While Hamrick says the economy is still “plodding along at basically a respectable pace,” the falling labour participation rate is likely dampening wages.
Business Insider’s Pedro Nicolaci da Costa recently reported that racial and geographical divides in the US are also coming into play, causing “ineffective job markets” to take root in certain areas and preventing a jobs boom that would boost wages.
“If we did see these unemployment numbers go down for the right reasons, meaning that people are actually finding work as opposed to exiting the workforce, then the laws of economics suggest that we should see further improvement in wages,” Hamrick says.
“That’s been long predicted, but it hasn’t materialised,” he continues. “The economy isn’t as strong as we thought it might be, based on the job market right now.”
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