U.S. wages grew 3 percent this past year

Wage growth for U.S. workers in the past year grew by 3 percent, according to an ADP Research Institute Workforce Vitality Report released Wednesday.

The growth, an increase of 80 cents, to $27.46 an hour, was driven by strong wage gains for workers in the professional and business services industry. The industry represented almost 17 percent of the workforce (3.4 percent wage growth, $35.04 per hour), Roseland-based ADP said.

Workers in the resource and mining industry saw their wages drop by 3.7 percent to $33.84 an hour, and businesses with 500-999 employees had the slowest wage growth, up 1.9 percent to $28.73 an hour.

Among industries, information led the way in wage growth, up 5.5 percent to $41.77 an hour.

“We’re seeing interesting shifts in labor-market dynamics this quarter,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Employment growth for new entrants has dipped to -0.1 percent, while it has increased by 4.5 percent for those who are 55 and older. In addition, job switchers who are 55 and older are seeing wage growth of 6.3 percent which is 1.5 percent higher than the prime workforce group who are 35-54. This shift suggests employers are searching far-and-wide for skilled talent and workers who were once sitting on the sidelines have begun to return to the labor market in response.”

Northeast workers outpaced other regions, with 3.5 percent wage growth, to $30.88 an hour. Employees who held jobs in the West experienced an 8.6 percent wage growth, to $29.45 an hour. Workers in the South have the lowest wage growth rate, at 2.6 percent, up to $25.78 an hour.

By firm size, workers at large firms led the way in wages, with a growth rate at 3.5 percent with employment growth at 2.2 percent. Workers at firms with 50 to 499 employees had a wage growth of 2.8 percent to $27.63 an hour. Workers at firms with 500 to 999 workers had the lowest wage growth of 1.6 percent to $28.73 an hour.