WASHINGTON (AP) — Wages and salaries rose at a healthy pace in the three months ended in June as employers competed to find enough workers to fill millions of available jobs.

For workers working in the private sector the pay rose 1% for the second quarter the Labor Department said Friday. That’s down slightly from 1.1% in the first three months of the year but still the second-highest reading in more than a decade.

Wages and salaries rose 3.5% by workers in private industry in June. This is the biggest increase in 14 years. The sharp rise of wages for hotel and restaurant employees was the main driver.

The total compensation of all employees increased at a slower rate, with a 0.7% increase in the second quarter and 2.9% over the previous year. The slowdown in wage growth by state and local governments and unexpected slowing of the growth of benefits like health care, slowed this figure. Companies provided benefits only 0.3% for the second quarter, which is down 0.6% from the first.

Friday’s data comes from the Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index, which measures pay changes for workers that keep their jobs. Unlike some other measures of Americans’ paychecks, it isn’t directly affected by mass layoffs such as the pandemic job losses that occurred in the spring of 2020.

Separately, Friday’s report by the government stated that consumer spending remained strong in JuneOverall incomes increased 0.1% with the 1% increase in wages. The figure does not include incomes from wages or salaries but also incomes from investments and benefits.

The reports indicate that steady employment and increasing pay should be continued to drive economic growth. However, the spread of the Delta variant could pose a risk to the recovery. The growth rate could decrease if people become less cautious about traveling, dining out and going to entertainment venues.

Due to increased customer demand and the disappearance of the pandemic, companies are now being required to offer better compensation in order to retain workers. Sign-on bonuses are being offered by many companies, especially in retail and restaurant industries. Wages as high as $15 per hour and other benefits like retirement plans, pet insurance, and even health insurance.

The unemployment rate is elevated at 5.9%While millions of Americans have lost their jobs, there are still many opportunities. record number of job openingsIt is. It will take time, according to economists for unemployed people to find the right job.

Many trends will likely keep some workers off the job, increasing the pressure for companies to pay more. COVID-19 is a concern for many people. They are reluctant to accept jobs that involve interaction with the public. Some may need to care for their children until the schools reopen.

Some people will be able to wait for more lucrative jobs by receiving an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefit. It has ended in about 22 states, and it expires nationwide September 6.

Source: HuffPost.com.

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