Wages

Oil's rout comes at the perfect time for corporate America

Oil barrels with oil sloshing
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Falling oil prices are bad news for the oil industry — but they're great news for corporations that could use the relief from other expenses.

Why it matters: With a tight labor market that's forcing companies to pay more to attract workers, plus the costs of tariffs from President Trump's trade war, oil is one less expense that will cut into companies' profits. "The oil price decline offsets other cost pressures that businesses have," Conrad DeQuadros, an economist at RDQ Economics, told Axios.

The uprising for higher wages

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facing stubborn company resistance to higher wages in the tightest U.S. labor market in a half century, increasing numbers of cities and states are forcing employers to push up their pay.

The big picture: Despite a tightening labor market, wage growth has remained sluggish. Against this trend, 10 large cities have passed $15-an-hour minimum wages, in addition to the state of California. New York has set a $15 minimum for fast-food workers, and Massachusetts for home health workers. In Tuesday's elections, two red states — Arkansas and Missouri — passed higher hourly minimums of $11 and $12, respectively.

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