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Growing Number of Companies Complain About Inability to Find Workers: So Why is Wage Growth So Low?

Courtesy of Mish.

Since 2010, the highest year-over-year wage increase in any month for production and nonsupervisory employees is near 2.6%.

For a two-year stretch between summer of 2011 and summer of 2013 wage increases less than 2% were the norm.

Yet, firms complain about labor costs while simultaneously complaining about the lack of workers.

Bloomberg reports Firms Under Pressure as Labor Drought Grows, U.S. Survey Shows.

A growing number of companies are finding it difficult to recruit skilled workers, which threatens to curtail profits and growth, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the Washington-based National Association for Business Economics.

The results of NABE’s July Business Conditions Survey published on Monday showed that 34 percent of respondents have had trouble hiring skilled employees over the last three months, up from 27 percent in January. The Washington-based association polled 101 panelists, who are economists from companies and industry associations.

In response, companies are sponsoring foreign workers, expanding their search and hiring more independent contractors, according to the survey. They’re also boosting automation, stepping up internal training and in some cases improving pay, Jankowski said.

Perhaps at least partially as a result, more than a third of respondents cited labor costs as having the largest negative impact on their profits so far this year.

Year-Over-Year Wage Growth

Year-Over-Year Wage Growth


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  1. They can just have the stockholders come in and do the work until they start to show some respect for those that actually make what they deliver to their customers. Cheap bastards one and all.