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Wage increases are the highest on record, business economists say

October 29, 2018

More firms report raising wages and salaries than at any time in 36 years, according to a survey of business economists out Monday.

A net 56% of respondents to the third-quarter National Association for Business Economics survey said their firms were raising wages, and no respondents said they expect wages to decrease over the coming quarter.

Firms may be coming to terms with an argument that many economists have been making for years: higher wages are critical for attracting workers. In the Q3 survey, fewer firms reported hiring without difficulty. Among those firms struggling to hire, 37% said they’re trying to address the gap by raising wages, 35% are training existing workers and 23% are “investing in labor-saving processes” such as improved technology and other productivity boosts.

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