Listen To The Story

The June employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed strong job growth – 222,000 – and a 0.1 percent rise in the unemployment rate to 4.4 percent, as more job-seekers entered the labor force. But the rise in average hourly earnings was anemic—up 0.2 percent month over month, 2.5 percent year over year. As the labor market approaches full employment, economists expect wages to rise significantly faster than overall inflation. Faced with labor shortages and unfilled positions, employers usually increase salaries to attract and retain qualified workers. That has not happened so far at this late stage of the economic recovery. Some employers say they are raising wages, but not more than their competitors, so as not to be priced out of the market in a low-inflation environment where increased costs are hard to pass on to customers. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Sign up to stay connected to Marketplace and you could be in for a Halloween treat!

Subscribe to our daily newsletter by Oct. 31 and you're automatically entered to win one of 10 Marketplace treat bags. They're filled with some great swag, plus something unique to give you a peek behind the scenes — a program rundown signed by Kai Ryssdal.

Subscribe today for your chance to win – and good luck!

Follow Mitchell Hartman at @entrepreneurguy