US Wages and Benefits Jump as Economy Reopens

AP News (04/30/21) Rugaber, Christopher 

In the first quarter of the year, wages and benefits for U.S. workers saw a notable increase of 0.9%, marking the largest gain in over 13 years, according to the Labor Department. This uptick suggests that businesses are beginning to offer higher pay to attract employees for newly-available positions. Despite the pandemic’s initial impact on unemployment rates, which soared to nearly 15% before gradually declining to 6% in March, workers’ pay and benefits only rose by 2.6% in the year ending March, down from 2.8% the previous year. The data, sourced from the Employment Cost Index, reflects changes in pay for continuously employed workers and is not influenced by mass layoffs like those seen during the pandemic.

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