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Local Pay Reports: Pay Growth Eases To 2.3 Percent in December
By Daniel Zhao on Jan 02, 2019 06:00 am

As 2018 draws to a close, wage growth has eased to a slower but healthy pace, bookending a year of accelerating wage growth for the American worker.

The latest edition of the Glassdoor Local Pay Reports shows that median base pay for full-time workers increased to $52,863 per year in December, up 2.3 percent from last year. That’s down slightly from November’s annual pay growth of 2.6 percent and marks the first month-over-month drop in the level of median annual pay since July 2017.

It’s too soon to say whether the dip is a signal of a long-term downward trend rather than normal monthly fluctuations or holiday volatility, but it does line up with worsening sentiment. Recent surveys of business executives by the New York Times and Duke University indicate almost half of respondents believe a recession will start in 2019. Glassdoor Economic Research’s latest report doesn’t anticipate a recession in the near term. However, as trade war tensions remain, the S&P 500 ends 2018 down and the Fed reconsiders its rate hike schedule, businesses may hesitate to raise wages despite a still-tight labor market.Despite economic uncertainty, wage growth for the American worker is still holding at a healthy rate above 2 percent. Whether 2019 will continue to ride the wave of accelerating wage growth from 2018 is unclear.