Wage Gains Seen Easing for American Workers at Small Companies

Where Is There Evidence of U.S. Wage Growth?
  • A net 13% of managers said they expect to boost compensation
  • NFIB's Small Business Optimism Index Increased in August

Small companies in the U.S. see wage growth slowing in coming months after 23 percent said in August that they recently boosted worker compensation.

A net 13 percent of managers last month said they plan to increase pay, down 2 percentage points from July, according to the seasonally adjusted results of 656 responses in a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. The proportion of business owners who said they had recently raised pay was unchanged from July.

The group’s index of small-business optimism rose to 95.9 from 95.4 in July. The measure is still below the four-decade average of 98.

The survey by the NFIB, a lobbying group that says it has 350,000 small and independent business owners as members, was a leading indicator of national wage growth until 2012, when the correlation broke down. Since the start of 2013, the percentage of smaller companies preparing to increase pay has been as low as 6 percent and as high as 17 percent.

Average hourly earnings reported on Friday by the Labor Department advanced 2.2 percent in August from a year earlier, compared with 2.1 percent in the 12 months ended in July.

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