May 15, 2023 - News

Certain pandemic-era pay increases are slowing

Illustration of a bill made up of different bill denominations. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Welp. It was fun while it lasted: The slowdown in those big pandemic-era salary increases from changing jobs has arrived.

Driving the news: Job changers saw a 1% decline in how much their salary increased by changing employers last month — the lowest salary growth since November 2021, according to data from ADP, the nation's largest payroll processor.

Yes, but: The overall salary earned by people who change jobs still increased by 13.1%, nearly twice the 6.7% median salary increase awarded to workers who stayed put.

Why it matters: Big pay increases helped fuel the "great resignation" and drove record numbers of people to hunt for new jobs and better pay beginning in 2021.

  • And it worked: 60% of people saw an increase in real earnings after switching employers, compared with 47% of those who stayed put, Axios' Jennifer Kingson reported last year.

Zoom in: Virginia workers who stayed put saw a median annual salary increase of 6.1% in April — lower than the national median. But the median salary in Virginia hit $67,500, nearly $10,000 higher than the national median.

Zoom out: Leisure and hospitality workers, education and health care employees, and people in construction saw the biggest year-over-year median increases, per ADP data.

  • Women and younger workers saw the biggest annual pay increases in April, with female workers age 16-24 seeing a 16% median jump in pay.

Of note: Those increases for women still didn't close the gender wage gap for any age group.

The bottom line: Nearly every category of worker saw some type of wage increase during the pandemic, but those days appear to be waning. The latest jobs data out this month suggests the overall labor market is cooling across the board, per Axios' Courtenay Brown.


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