Hourly Wages Are Going Up But More Needs to be Done to Bring Workers Back

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Employers are enticing Americans back to work by offering incentives and raising wages; however, more needs to be done to return to pre-pandemic conditions. U.S. companies hired the most workers in 10 months in June, but the unemployment rate rose to 5.9% from 5.8% in May, reported Reuters.

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Nonfarm payroll hires increased by 850,000 jobs last month even with the uptick in unemployment, reports CNBC, which all added up to more than 7.1 million fewer workers in June than February 2020. Meanwhile, hourly wages rose 0.3% month over month and 3.6% year over year. CNBC noted that these figures were in line with Wall Street expectations.

Getting people back to work has been an uphill battle. Common reasons include health concerns over the virus, child care issues, skills mismatches and superior unemployment benefits over employer wages.

Jobcase, a social platform that advocates for workers, conducted a survey of 515 unemployed workers in May, and almost all said they weren’t making more money out of work than when they had jobs. On the other hand, 34% said they’re still uncomfortable going back to work.

Employers are starting to take note. According to Indeed, 4.1% of job postings advertised hiring incentives through the week ending June 18, a substantial increase from 1.8% in the week ending July 1, 2020, noted Reuters. These incentives include signing bonuses, retention bonuses or one-time cash payments on being hired which ranged from $100 to as high as $30,000. Citing data from PoachedJobs.com, Reuters also reported that some restaurant jobs are paying as much as $27 per hour plus tips.

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Projections from Indeed show, through June 18, there were about 9.8 million job openings in the U.S. Additionally, Labor Department data released Friday shows that there are just under 9.5 million unemployed workers, reports CNBC. Job postings deemed “urgent” on Indeed rose to 2.3% in June from 1.6% in January. The job market is still tight, employers are feeling the pinch, but the workforce is still hesitant to go back.

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