Business

Good News, Workers — Wage Gains Are Coming

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(CBS News) – By most measures, we’re in the later innings of this economic cycle. Corporate profits are cooling. Commodity prices are collapsing. Fifteen central banks globally have lowered interest rates this year to combat economic stagnation throughout Asia and Europe.

And yet for the average U.S. worker, one key trend has yet to materialize: A significant bump in pay. Sure, job-creation is running at its best pace since the dot-com boom, and the nation’s unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6 percent. But wages have barely budged.

That’s about to change.

As the chart below shows, wage growth was mixed in the fourth quarter of 2014. The Employment Cost Index released on Friday rose slightly to an annualized growth rate of 2.2 percent. Wages and salaries growth was more tepid at 2.1 percent, compared with 1.9 percent in 2013. Average hourly earnings came in at 1.7 percent year-over-year.

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