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Bloomberg Opinion @bopinion
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.@ritholtz wants to point out one thing that he got very right in 2018: rising wages.

After two years of workers seeing modestly bigger paychecks, it looks like we are now in the part of the business cycle when steady and large gains show up
In the most recent jobs report, workers had an average gain in hourly wages of 3.2%, well above the average of 2.4% during the past five years.

More gains probably are on the way
In 2018, these states raised their minimum wages 💸

AL $9.84
AZ $10.50
CA $11.00
CO $10.20
FL $8.25
HI $10.10
ME $10.00
MD $10.10
MI $9.25
MN $8.04-9.86
MO $7.85
MT $8.30
NJ $8.60
NY $10.40
OH $8.30
RI $10.10
SD $8.85
VT $10.50
WA $11.50
In 2019, there will be even more regions with higher paychecks: 19 states, plus 21 cities and counties, are raising pay floors 📈
Why have wages been rising? And why is the trend likely to persist? It isn't much of a mystery. Companies are aggressively competing for workers:

🛒 Costco: $14/hr
🔴 Target: $12/hr
📣 Walmart: $11.3/hr
👑 Disneyland: $15/hr
📦 Amazon: $15/hr
In 2009, there were 6.6 job seekers for each opening.

Today, there is less than one person looking for work for each opening, meaning there are more vacant positions than there are job seekers
The law of supply and demand states when a service is in limited supply -- in this case labor -- then the cost -- wages -- should rise
Because of the low labor supply, companies need to find ways to bring those who have left the workforce back into the fold.

The labor force participation rate is the highest rate in the past five years. High salaries probably are the main reason for this
The benefits of increased wages are well understood:

🛍️ Increased real estate, travel, and retail sales
📈 Rising corporate profits
💰 More savings for retirement
💵 Ability to pay down debt

All of this adds up to higher living standards for Americans
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