Business Economists: Wages Rising At More Firms

According to a new survey from the National Association for Business Economics, more than four in 10 respondents said that wages were increasing at their companies—a big surge.

What a difference a year makes—especially if you’re looking to get a raise.

In the latest edition of the National Association for Business Economics’ Business Conditions Survey, 43 percent of the 79 economists that responded said that they saw increased wages at their companies—a marked jump from last year, when the number was just 19 percent. It’s also a significant increase over April’s NABE survey, in which 35 percent of respondents noted pay increases.

As we get to the point where we have less in the labor market to supply, I think firms are recognizing [that raising wages is] something that they have to do.

In comments to Reuters, NABE President Jack Kleinhenz (who is also the chief economist for the National Retail Federation) noted that recent improvement in the job market is contributing to rising wages—particularly for skilled positions in fields such as finance, communications, and real estate.

“It’s not surprising that we would see some reporting of rising wage costs. As we get to the point where we have less in the labor market to supply, I think firms are recognizing that’s something that they have to do,” Kleinhenz told the news service.

What the economists in the NABE survey are seeing dovetails with another economic indicator from a different business trade group. In the most recent CEO Economic Study released last month by the Business Roundtable, 43 percent of the CEOs surveyed said they anticipated an increase in hiring within the next six months, up from 37 percent in the prior quarter. However, CEOs also said they were less likely to increase capital expenditures over the same period.

NABE’s findings were more upbeat, suggesting that sales were increasing despite shrinking profit margins. The study also noted that hiring was up significantly, with 36 percent of respondents reporting an upswing in hiring  in the most recent quarter, after four surveys in a row where the numbers lingered below 30 percent.

“Panelists have become more sanguine about the overall economic outlook,” NABE survey analyst Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, said in a statement. “Nearly one-quarter of respondents expect growth in the economy over the next 12 months to exceed 3 percent. That’s triple the share who expected this higher growth rate in the previous survey figure.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!