Winning: US Wages Growing In Areas With Low Unemployment

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Joe Simonson Media Reporter
Font Size:

The missing piece from the economic puzzle over the last few years — rising wages — is getting filled in a number of American cities thank to a tighter labor market.

Employers in cities like Minneapolis, Denver, and Fort Myers, Fla., are finally raising wages to attract workers as the unemployment rate sits near three percent or lower.

“You’re seeing the first movers into full employment and past it, with the uptick in wage growth,” senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Adam Kamins told the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. unemployment rate sits  at 4.1 percent, the lowest level in 17 years. Still, despite a prolonged period of modest economic and job growth, wages have lagged. National wages grew less than two percent in 2016.

Yet in areas with some of the lowest unemployment rates, such as Minneapolis. Private sector wage growth hit four percent — the best figures for the area in six years.

Even kitchen staffers, such as those at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater in Fort Myers, are finding their wages raised five to 10 percent.

“If you’re a dishwasher with a pulse, we’d probably hire you,” said William Prather, the owner.


An analysis from the WSJ found that one reason why wages did not grow with a lowering unemployment rate is because of the “development of a global labor market put U.S. workers in competition with peers in China and Europe.”

These positive developments will likely give support to those in the U.S. who favor a sharp cut in the number of foreign-born individuals the country lets in each year.

George Borjas, a professor of economics and social policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University found in 2016 that a large influx of foreign immigrants in Miami depressed the wages of native low-skill workers.

President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly argued that high immigration levels have hurt many American workers, revealed a plan in Aug. 2017 to cut legal immigration by half. He has also directed federal agencies to accelerate domestic deportations of illegal aliens.

Follow Joe on Twitter

The Daily Caller News Foundation is working hard to balance out the biased American media. For as little as $3, you can help us. Freedom of speech isn’t free. Make a one-time donation to support the quality, independent journalism of TheDCNF. We’re not dependent on commercial or political support and we do not accept any government funding.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact