U.S. private-sector workers received the biggest pay raise in 11 years in the first three months of the year, a sign that the tight job market is slowly lifting wages.
The Labor Department said wages and salaries in the private sector rose 1% in the January-through-March quarter compared with the previous quarter. That’s the biggest gain since the first quarter of 2007, before the Great Recession.
The gain was boosted partly by healthy year-end commissions that are typically paid to sales workers at the beginning of the year. In the past year, wages for private-sector workers rose 2.9%, the healthiest increase since the third quarter of 2008.
The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1%, and employers are hiring at a healthy clip.