U.S. employers sped up their hiring in August, reversing several months of slowing gains. Some 201,000 jobs were added, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.9 percent, according to the monthly jobs report released by the Labor Department.
Wage growth accelerated, with hourly earnings rising 2.9 percent year-over-year. Economists have been puzzled by wage growth that has appeared stuck between 2 and 2.5 percent, despite an unemployment rate near an 18-year low.
“We’re finally seeing wage gains for some low-paid workers. These include things like baristas, cashiers and bank tellers, and I think that’s helping boost that average wage number,” Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at the job search site Glassdoor, told CBS MoneyWatch this week.
“The bottom [income] quartile and the bottom decile are moving up faster than everyone else,” said Cathy Barrera, chief economist at the job site ZipRecruiter. “Those numbers to me also reflect some of the anecdotal evidence about there being labor shortages in jobs that require little experience or less education: things like construction, transportation, trucking, or child care.” …….