World Economy

US Wage Growth Sluggish

US Wage  Growth SluggishUS Wage  Growth Sluggish

Despite some encouraging recent job numbers—unemployment is falling, and an average of 198,000 jobs per month were added to payrolls over the last year—wage growth in the United States is still sluggish, according to experts analyzing labor department statistics, Al Jazeera reported. The September 2015 Employment Cost Index shows labor costs—meaning the total cost to employers of wages, salaries and benefits—rose 2% over the past 12 months. “It’s the trend that’s disappointing, more than anything else,” said Chad Stone, chief economist for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities think tank. Stone said that wage growth has been consistently anemic throughout the economic recovery. Unemployment held steady at 5.1% in September, compared to 5.9% the previous year. That represents a steep drop from the recession-era high of 10% in 2009 and 2010. But even that substantial drop in unemployment has not translated to higher pay. “It’s still the case that employers have the bargaining power,” Stone said.