If Your Pay Rose Faster Than Prices, You’re Lucky

Off the Charts: The Visual Says It All

Chef preparing food for customers.

Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

Some workers have seen their paychecks increase faster than prices for everyday products, but with inflation heating up there are a lot fewer of those workers than there used to be.

As shown in this chart, 44.7% of workers got above-inflation pay raises in March, down from as many as 58.3% only a little over a year ago, according to an analysis this week by the job-hunting site Indeed.

Workers have been in high demand lately and that’s left employers to compete to fill near-record numbers of job openings. Still, workers are losing out in the tug-of-war between pay raises and price increases. The pain hasn’t been shared equally, though. In some jobs, especially in the typically low-paid leisure and hospitality category, pay has gone up at a quicker pace. While that’s increasingly rare, the Indeed data shows, it’s still impressive that so many are getting ahead as inflation hits four-decade highs.

“Let’s keep things in perspective,” economists at Indeed wrote in a blog post. “It is remarkable that more than 40% of workers are getting inflation-adjusted raises despite consumer prices jumping over 8% on an annual basis. That speaks to how strongly the imbalance between labor supply and demand is driving up wages.”

Indeed used data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and analytical methods from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to calculate how many workers were getting above-inflation raises.

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  1. Indeed Hiring Lab. “April 2022 US Labor Market Update: For Many Workers, Inflation Outpaces Wage Growth.”

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