The job market may be booming, but many Americans aren’t feeling it in their wallets.
Half of U.S. workers haven’t received a pay boost in some form over the past 12 months, according to Bankrate’s December Financial Security Poll. That includes receiving a raise, taking a job with better pay or both.
The lack of pay increases comes at a time when job growth appears to be booming. U.S. employers have added new positions for a record 110 straight months, and the unemployment rate has plunged to a 50-year low.
The survey’s findings are also illustrative of a broader economic trend. Typically, as the pool of available workers starts to thin, research suggests that employers will boost pay to recruit more. For much of the expansion, however, that hasn’t happened.
But even though parts of the survey looked bleak, other figures suggest that the picture may be getting a little brighter. Nearly 49 percent of Americans reported seeing higher pay this year, up from 38 percent last year and the highest since 2016, according to the survey.
“Low unemployment and a tight labor market with more than one million open, unfilled jobs is benefiting workers, with more reporting pay raises and finding better paying jobs than each of the last three years,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst.