Wages and benefits of U.S. workers jumped in the first quarter of the year by the most in 13 years, data released by the Department of Labor showed Friday.
Total compensation for U.S. workers rose 0.9 percent in the January-March quarter. That is an acceleration of wage gains from the final three months of 2020, when wages rose 0.7 percent.
The data showing the gains come amid rising complaints from businesses saying that they are having trouble finding qualified workers. Some businesses have pointed the finger at the federal government’s enhanced unemployment benefits program, which pays jobless Americans $300 a week in addition to regular benefits, as holding back employment expansion.
On Wednesday, Fed Chair Powell said he had not seen evidence of a labor shortage because wages were not yet rising. That now is an outdated view.
“Clearly there’s something going on out there as many