Help My Career: ‘One of the strongest job markets in the past 50 years’: Want a pay raise?

by | Aug 13, 2022 | Stock Market

Will more jobs mean higher wages? The government’s latest jobs report showed the U.S. economy gained 528,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.5% from 3.6% the previous month. The sharp rise in hiring surprised Wall Street: Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast just 258,000 new jobs last month.

Workers have bargaining power. “This remains one of the strongest job markets in the past 50 years,” said Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. There is faster job growth in the services sector: construction employment increased by 32,000 over the month, he added. Average hourly earnings rose by 5.2% on the year in July to $32.27, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said — one of the fastest increases since the early ’80s. Wages, however, are not keeping up with the consumer prices index: 9.1% in June. But the core rate of inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose 4.8% in June. “Average hourly earnings rose faster than expected in July, due in part to stagnant labor-force participation,” John Leer, Morning Consult’s chief economist, told MarketWatch. “If demand for workers doesn’t cool, and supply doesn’t rebound, wage growth will exert greater upward pressure on consumer inflation.” Thus far, the jobs report spells good news for workers who are looking for pay …

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