Low-income Workers See Big Boost in Wages

December 27, 2019

As the labor market tightens, low wage workers are seeing their pay increase at the fastest pace in more than a decade. Their wage gains are even outpacing the bosses.

Pay for the bottom 25 percent of earners increased by 4.5 percent annually in November, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. This is far higher than the top 25 percent of earners, who saw their wages increase by 2.9 percent in the same period. The Atlanta Fed notes that wage gains for low-skilled workers have accelerated since the start of 2018, and that last month was the first time that low-skilled workers’ gains have outpaced high-skill workers since 2010.

With unemployment at its lowest point in 50 years, a short supply of workers, as well as increases to the minimum wage have boosted the earnings of those at the bottom of the pay scale.

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