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Expand chart
Data: NABE Business Conditions Survey; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

America’s business leaders expect to keep shelling out higher wages to employees.

Driving the news: According a new quarterly survey released today by the National Association for Business Economics, a record high 58% of respondents increased pay at their firms during the third quarter — and nearly the same share expects to do so again in the coming months.

Why it matters: Strong demand in the U.S. economy is underpinning rising wages as well as continued hiring plans on the part of business leaders. But rising business costs — for things ranging from labor to raw materials — have some economists on alert for spiking inflation trends.

State of play: Average weekly earnings are up 4.5% over the last year, according to government data.

  • Within that, the sectors most in need of more workers have seen outsized gains: construction pay has jumped 7.1% and leisure and hospitality surged 11.2%.
  • Starting this past May, job openings exceeded the number of job-hunters — and wages are bound to continue their rise as employers compete even harder for labor.

The bottom line: "Trouble finding talent ... is certainly something that we continue to hear about all the time,” Chad Moutray, NABE survey analyst, tells Axios.

  • The share of NABE survey respondents reporting shortages of skilled labor rose to 47% in October, from 32% in the prior survey.

This story has been updated to correct the name of the National Association for Business Economics.

Go deeper

Tampa's timing of "O Tannenbaum"

Data: Axios survey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios; Illustrations: Aïda Amer/Axios

We asked: When is it acceptable to put up a Christmas tree?

  • The results are in.

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 49 mins ago - Economy & Business

Crypto meets the real world

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The two largest countries in the world seem intent on effectively banning their citizens from participating in crypto, which poses a serious threat to the crypto agenda.

Why it matters: The crypto world is global — but the real world is fragmented into nation-states, each of which claims control of what happens within its borders.