Paychex Report Shows Weekly Earnings Growth at Record High

Throughout the year the big story in the world of small businesses has been the competitive hiring field. With the United States’ unemployment rate remaining at historic lows, many businesses have reported being unable to fill open positions and, in turn, increased their wages in a bid to attract top talent. Sure enough a new report from the payroll company Paychex shows continued wage growth for small business employees as 2019 comes to a close.

According to Paychex’s data, the average wage among small business employees rose to $27.64 in December. That puts the 12-month wage growth at 3.07%, increasing a total of 82¢ over the past year. Incidentally these figures are right in line with the latest Labor Department numbers released last month that showed the average wage reaching $27.30 and marking a 3.1% year over year gain.

What’s more, thanks in part to December posting the largest gains in hours worked since 2012, weekly earnings reached a new all-time high. Growth in weekly earnings for the month showed a 4.13% year-over-year gain compared to the 3.87% YOY seen in November. Interestingly California and New York saw the greatest increases in both hourly and weekly earnings among the 20 largest states. Each showed gains above 4% for hourly wages and increases exceeding 5% for weekly earnings. Meanwhile these figures were each below 2% in Texas and Arizona, leaving them at the bottom of heap.

Summarizing this month’s report, IHS Markit chief regional economist James Diffley remarked, “Small business job gains have flattened in the second half of the year as labor markets prove very tight. In response, weekly earnings have accelerated, surging from 2.49% mid-year to 4.13% at year-end.” Paychex president and CEO Martin Mucci added, “The new high seen in weekly earnings growth this month is certainly positive news for the employees of small businesses. Not only are businesses raising wages, but they’re also increasing hours for their current employees, a sure sign employers are responding to the pressures of the tight labor market.”

All in all, while times may have gotten tough for small business owners throughout 2019 as they struggled to compete for employees, one has to imagine that the expanding economy mostly helped make up for that. As for workers, it seems that the labor crunch has been a benefit as evidenced by the rising wages. Finally, with the 2010s about to cap off a recessionless decade, it seems only appropriate that it would go out with another record to its name.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

Top 10 Personal Finance Articles of the Month — June 2022 

It’s time again for one of my favorite features here on Dyer News: a look at the top 10 personal finance articles of the month. To start, we'll take another look at financial independence and freedom. Then, with the housing market going a bit crazy lately, we'll feature a pair of articles on home buying. Lastly, we'll cover tips for one-income households, finance after death, fighting inflation, and more. As...

Bilt Rewards Launches Travel Portal with Benefits for Cardholders

Last year, the startup Bilt made a splash when it announced a new service that would reward users for paying their rent. That premise was then expanded upon with the launch of the Bilt Mastercard, which is issued by Wells Fargo. Now, continuing to capitalize on both the hype of their product and the demand for travel, Bilt has debuted another new offering for customers. This week, Bilt Rewards announced...

Cash App Introduces Round-Up Investing Feature for Debit Card

Debit card customers looking to grow their investments gained a new, automated option today as Block Inc. (formerly Square Inc.) officially announced a new feature for its popular Cash App. Now, customers with the Cash App Cash Card can opt into Round Ups as a means of growing their investments. When this feature is toggled on, Cash App will round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and invest...