Flat worker wages, which has figured prominently in the debate over income inequality, has been on the rise lately. New data from Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch confirms the trend of rising wages, with workers both working longer and earning more in December.
Paychex-IHS noted “steady growth in hourly earnings and hours worked” -- with the latter posting the strongest gains since 2012. Meanwhile, weekly earnings growth to new highs for small businesses:
“Small business job gains have flattened in the second half of the year as labor markets prove very tight,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. “In response, weekly earnings have accelerated, surging from 2.49 percent mid-year to 4.13 percent at year-end.”
“The new high seen in weekly earnings growth this month is certainly positive news for the employees of small businesses,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “Not only are businesses raising wages, but they’re also increasing hours for their current employees, a sure sign employers are responding to the pressures of the tight labor market.”
Paychex-IHS’s figures also found that the South is the best region for small business jobs, while the West has seen the strongest earnings growth.