Here’s Why Robust US Job Market Isn’t Producing Better Pay

Growth in Americans’ wages has been leveling off lately, contrary to expectations that a steadily falling jobless rate will quickly lead to a sustained acceleration.

Blame it on dismal productivity and lingering, albeit diminishing, slack even with unemployment at an almost 10-year low of 4.5 percent.

The government’s most recent jobs report showed the underemployment rate — the broadest gauge of joblessness because it also includes marginally attached workers and those working part time who’d prefer a full-time position — also has been falling though it’s still higher than just before the 2007-2009 recession. 

Data this week were also less encouraging. The quits rate, a gauge of workers’ willingness to voluntarily leave their jobs because they’re confident of finding a better position, eased in February to 2.1 percent, matching its average since the end of 2015. Faster turnover would imply workers are able to bargain for more as labor demand

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