Economic Impact: Wage Gains Remain Elusive

Slow wage growth is one of the side effects of a weak labor market. Even though the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 5.5 percent in February, the rate that includes people working part time who would rather work full time and the marginally attached is 11.0 percent. With plenty of jobseekers to choose from, firms have been stingy with wage increases. From 2009 (the year the recession ended) through 2014, annual average wages in the Richmond metro area rose 1.7 percent.

The RIGHT Data

The internet has become a widely used source of data for regional labor market information, but that doesn’t always mean it provides the level of detail needed to make reliable decisions.

SleepBetter Lost-Hour Economic Index

These are the findings of Chmura Economics & Analytics in a study entitled “Estimating the Economic Loss of Daylight Saving Time for U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas” commissioned by the Carpenter Co. The study focused on only the aspects of economic losses where solid evidence from peer-reviewed academic journals could be obtained, showing how the DST change can lead to an increase in heart attacks, workplace injuries in the mining and construction sectors, and increased cyberloafing that reduces productivity for people who typically work in offices. A reasonable economic cost was then developed from the economic costs of heart attacks, workplace accidents and cyberloafing and applied to the more than 300 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the U.S.