The Consumer Prices Index recently showed that inflation is moving up by almost 9% year over previous year. Some goods and services have risen much more quickly. Gas prices are up over 50% and have moved above $5, which is a historic high. The prices of some foods are up over 30%. Car prices as up by a similar percentage.
One of the hard realities which face American workers is that they may not get 9% raises this year. In some sectors of the economy where there are severe worker shortages, raises could rise above that. However, it will not happen across every industry.
A survey of 1,004 companies in the fall of last year by Willis Towers Watson revealed 32% have bumped up their wage hike projections for 2022 compared to earlier in the year. On average, companies estimate an overall average salary increase of 3.4% compared to 3% in 2021. In 2021, the average raise was 2.8%.
To determine the industry where workers got the biggest raise, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed industry-specific data on wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program. Industries were ranked based on the percentage change in real average annual wage from May 2020 to May 2021.
Workers in the deep sea, coastal, and Great Lakes water transportation industry saw the largest paycheck boost at 30% between 2020 and 2021. The industry carries cargo to and from foreign ports as well as ferrying passengers along waterways. The hike came at the same time as an 11.6% drop in its employee base.
In fact, industries with some of the largest dips in employment registered some of the biggest wage gains. As employees were either laid off or quit during the pandemic, employers likely hiked salaries to keep current workers on the payroll or attract new workers to keep the business afloat.
Hit hard by COVID-19, the special food services industry lost more than 15% of its workforce. Those who stayed pocketed a near 11% salary increase
Similarly, the pandemic thinned the ranks of event promoters by a third as fewer events were scheduled. Raises of more than 16% were given to the remaining event organizers.
The industry where people got the largest raises is Deep sea, coastal, and great lakes water transportation. Details:
> Wage increase, 2020 to 2021: +30.0%
> Average annual wage, 2021: $83,320
> Employment change, 2020 to 2021: -11.6%
> Total employment, 2021: 32,310
Methdology: To determine the industries where workers got the biggest raises, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed industry-specific data on wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program. Industries were ranked based on the percentage change in real average annual wage from May 2020 to May 2021.
Industries were classified at the fourth level of detail in the North American Industry Classification System code. Data on total employment also came from the BLS OEWS. Industries classified as “other” in a specific industry were not considered.
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