Data: NABE Business Conditions Survey; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios
America’s business leaders expect to keep shelling out higher wages to employees.
Driving the news: According a new quarterly survey released today by the National Association for Business Economics, a record high 58% of respondents increased pay at their firms during the third quarter — and nearly the same share expects to do so again in the coming months.
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Why it matters: Strong demand in the U.S. economy is underpinning rising wages as well as continued hiring plans on the part of business leaders. But rising business costs — for things ranging from labor to raw materials — have some economists on alert for spiking inflation trends.
State of play: Average weekly earnings are up 4.5% over the last year, according to government data.
Within that, the sectors most in need of more workers have seen outsized gains: construction pay has jumped 7.1% and leisure and hospitality surged 11.2%.
Starting this past May, job openings exceeded the number of job-hunters — and wages are bound to continue their rise as employers compete even harder for labor.
The bottom line: "Trouble finding talent ... is certainly something that we continue to hear about all the time,” Chad Moutray, NABE survey analyst, tells Axios.
The share of NABE survey respondents reporting shortages of skilled labor rose to 47% in October, from 32% in the prior survey.
This story has been updated to correct the name of the National Association for Business Economics.
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