ADP: U.S. wages climb in fourth quarter

Wages in the United States grew 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2019, increasing the average wage by $0.88 to $28.93 an hour, according to ADP Research Institute’s Workforce Vitality Report released Wednesday.

“The final quarter of 2019 was marked with a slight deceleration in job growth and wage growth was unchanged,” Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said. “Wage growth for holders and entrants decelerated, whereas switchers experienced acceleration.”

Earlier this year, job holders, job switchers and job entrants all saw wage growth of 5% or more. However, job holders are now experiencing a 4.6% growth, switchers are even at 5% and entrants stand at 4.9%.

Across industries, wage growth has remained between 3.5% and 4.5%, however, differences are clear. The natural resources and mining industry is the weakest performer with wages falling year-over-year. Education and health services also saw low wage growth (1.8%). However, job holder wage growth in education and health services is above 4%.

Workers in the Midwest outperformed other regions with a 3.9% wage growth, although its hourly wage is the lowest at $27. Job switchers fared the best in the West with a wage growth of 6.7%, while job entrants in the Northeast fared the best with a wage growth of 6.2%.

By firm size, large firm employees had the highest wage growth at 3.4%, with employment growth at 3%.