NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Worker Pay Trends”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at worker pay trends.  Mike, next to having a job, probably the most important factor for a worker is the pay of that job.  Since the unemployment rate is now low, are we now in a sweet spot for worker pay?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Yes, past experience would suggest so
  2. During the recession, worker pay fell, especially after accounting for inflation
  3. But, even when the job market began to recover, increases in worker pay barely kept up with inflation
  4. Good news today is that, with the supply of workers with needed skills shrinking, pay should be rising faster
  5. CBO estimates average pay – including the value of benefits – will rise 3.5% in coming years
  6. Also, some evidence businesses will be using performance based pay raises more
  7. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension