U.S. Employers Expect to Give Pay Raises in 2022 but Will Inflation Devour Those Raises?

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

According to a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), a “global advisory, broking and solutions company,” U.S. employers are raising their salary increase projections for 2022.

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The survey of 1,004 U.S. companies found nearly one in three employers (32%) raised their salary increase projections from early in 2021. Today, employers budget an average increase of 3.4% for 2022 compared to their average 3.0% increase budgeted in June of 2021. In reality, though, U.S. companies gave their employees an average pay increase of only 2.8% in 2021.

The employers surveyed stated the causes behind the pay increase projections included inflation and the so-called Great Resignation labor shortage. “Inflation is an element of it, but that’s not the sole factor,” Lesli Jennings, WTW’s senior director of work and rewards, told CNBC. “I think the bigger piece is about this race for talent.”

Many U.S. employers scramble not only to attract workers but to retain them at all levels as job openings remain at near-record levels. Around 74% of the companies surveyed cited “the tight labor market as a reason to increase their budgeting for raises.” While increased wages are being used to entice employees, are those increases or raises actually doing anything to increase the standard of living of America’s workers?

Related: Misery Index: Biden’s Economic Policies Are Clearly Failing Average and Poor Americans

The current rate of U.S. inflation is 7.04%. The current U.S. unemployment rate is 3.90%. As inflation rises, the cost of living increases, and as unemployment rises more individuals fall into poverty. Therefore, with inflation at a forty-year high, a wage increase of only 3.4% is wholly inadequate to improve or even maintain the living standards of most U.S. workers. Inflation simply devours a raise, as household expenses increase faster than any raise a worker might get.

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Never fear though because President Bumble, I mean, Biden is on the case … not really. As PJ Media’s Cameron Arcand wrote, “the president bragged of ‘record job creation’ and ‘record economic growth’ during his presidency,” on Wednesday at his first formal press conference of 2022, “but [Biden] left out one little detail about his claim. There was a pandemic that was used as an excuse to shut down the economy, forcing many people into unemployment,” and most of those people have now gone back to work. In fact, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the U.S. economy still has 3.6 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic shutdowns. In other words, Biden has yet to create a single new job no matter how many times he claims otherwise, which doesn’t bode well for the economy or the U.S. workforce.

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