Pandemic Wage Pressures – Liberty Road Economics


The restoration for the reason that onset of the pandemic has been characterised by a decent labor market and rising nominal wage development. On this publish, we take a look at labor market situations from a extra granular, sectoral perspective specializing in knowledge masking the 9 main industries. This breakdown is motivated by the exceptionality of the pandemic episode, the way in which it has asymmetrically affected sectors of the financial system, and by the potential of exploiting sectoral heterogeneities to grasp the drivers of latest labor market dynamics. We doc that wage pressures are highest within the sectors with the most important employment shortfall relative to their pre-pandemic development path, however that different components clarify many of the wage development differentials. We recommend that one key issue is the extent of bodily contact that has needed to be compensated for by providing larger wages. One implication of our evaluation is that, as COVID-related components recede, sectoral imbalances may very well be restored from the availability aspect as employment recovers again towards the pre-pandemic development. 

Are Sectoral Labor Markets Tight? Descriptive Proof

We focus our evaluation on the NAICS business breakdown of the next sectors: building, manufacturing (goods-producing industries), commerce, transportation, and utilities, data, monetary actions, skilled and enterprise providers, training and well being providers, leisure and hospitality, and different providers (service-providing industries). We then gather knowledge on the true and nominal Employment Compensation Index (ECI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at a quarterly frequency, variety of jobs opening knowledge from the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and variety of unemployed and employment knowledge from the Present Inhabitants Survey (CPS) from the BLS at a month-to-month frequency for the sectors talked about above ranging from December 2000 to the newest statement (June 2022).

We first doc labor market tightness through the use of the unemployed folks per job opening ratio as a measure of labor market situations (see for instance Domash and Summers (2022)). In line with this metric, all sectors at the moment are at ratios which are signaling tighter market situations relative to the pre-COVID interval aside from building. Furthermore, service-providing industries have seen larger wage development than items producing industries. For instance, as of the second quarter of 2022 annual wage inflation in leisure and hospitality was 66 % larger than that of producing.

Wage Inflation and Labor Market Tightness

We discover the hyperlink between nominal wage development and labor market indicators by conducting a easy regression evaluation. We regress nominal year-over-year ECI wage development on the unemployed per opening measure of labor tightness on the sectoral degree and on the four-quarter transferring common of lagged year-over-year CPI inflation to examine the connection between sectoral wage inflation and previous CPI yearly inflation. A adverse coefficient on the labor tightness implies that much less unemployed per job opening, that’s, extra labor market tightness, is related to inflationary pressures on nominal wages. The pattern interval is from the fourth quarter of 2000 to the second quarter of 2022 for manufacturing, building, and finance; from the primary quarter of 2002 to the second quarter of 2022 for all different sectors. We use a COVID dummy on the sectoral degree that applies from the start line of the pandemic (from the primary quarter of 2020 onward) to isolate particular pandemic components that have an effect on sectoral labor markets. As talked about above, one instance of those components is the extent to which a sector is uncovered to bodily contact.

Wage Regressions Utilizing Unemployed per Job Opening, COVID Dummy

LSR TRD EDU SRV PRF MFG FIN CNS INF
Unemployed per opening -0.50*** -0.33*** -0.69*** -0.47*** -0.33** -0.08*** -0.42** -0.07*** -0.09
(0.09) (0.05) (0.11) (0.08) (0.11) (0.02) (0.15) (0.01) (0.06)
Lagged CPI-inflation 0.34** 0.22*** 0.46*** 0.32*** 0.45*** 0.26*** -0.13 0.39*** 0.10
(0.12) (0.06) (0.06) (0.09) (0.08) (0.05) (0.13) (0.07) (0.07)
COVID dummy 3.13*** 1.54∗∗∗ 0.40* 0.97** 0.69* 0.72*** 0.64 0.33 0.98***
(0.40) (0.21) (0.20) (0.30) (0.26) (0.16) (0.44) (0.24) (0.24)
Fixed 2.85*** 2.78*** 2.36*** 3.06*** 1.90*** 2.20*** 3.66*** 2.25*** 2.25***
(0.39) (0.20) (0.21) (0.32) (0.26) (0.13) (0.42) (0.19) (0.23)
Observations 82 82 82 82 82 87 87 87 82
Adjusted R^2 0.612 0.655 0.638 0.494 0.458 0.555 0.088 0.576 0.231
Commonplace errors in parentheses, ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.01, ∗∗∗p < 0.001
Notes: cns is building, edu is training and well being providers, fin is monetary actions, Inf is data, lsr is leisure and hospitality, mfg is manufacturing, prf is skilled and enterprise providers, srv is providers, and trd is commerce, transportation, and utilities.

Be aware that within the desk above we checklist sectors from highest to lowest wage development. The energy of the COVID dummy (measured by a better coefficient related to it in our regression) is linked to the sectors with the best pandemic wage pressures. The very best worth for the COVID dummy is for the leisure and hospitality sector, adopted by commerce, transportation, and utilities, after which the data sector. The primary two are certainly the sectors by which nominal wage will increase have been the best.

What determines the heterogeneity of the COVID dummy throughout sectors? Right here we advise that one potential issue is the depth of bodily contacts within the job. Certainly, the estimated coefficient of the COVID dummy from the regression may very well be associated with the typical bodily proximity index for sectors utilized by Famiglietti, Leibovici, and Santacreu (2020) indicating that wage will increase are extra concentrated in bodily contact intensive sectors.

Sectors with Larger Wage Inflation throughout the Pandemic Have Larger Bodily Proximity

Scatter plot and upward trend line; physical proximity index on y axis 50-65, and estimated COVID dummy coefficient on the x-axis, 0-3.5.
Sources: Bodily proximity index from O*NET and authors’ calculations.
Notes: inf is data, lsr is leisure and hospitality, mfg is manufacturing, srv is providers, and trd is commerce, transportation, and utilities.

Within the chart above, limiting our evaluation to the sectors by which the COVID dummy is critical on the 1 % degree, we discover that the sectors with larger bodily contact within the office have seen larger wage will increase throughout the pandemic controlling for the sectoral labor tightness.

A Labor Provide Story

Though labor market indicators level at a decent labor market, employment within the totally different sectors continues to be under the pre-pandemic development. Apparently, the leisure and hospitality sector has the best wage pressures in addition to the most important hole when it comes to employment degree in 1000’s relative to the pre-pandemic development.

We discover the sectoral wage heterogeneity additional by documenting what % of the sectoral employment has recovered relative to the pre-pandemic development as of June 2022. Values under 100 indicate that employment has not but reached the pre-pandemic development degree and people above 100 indicate that employment has recovered previous the pre-pandemic development degree. A price of 100 signifies that precise employment is similar because the implied pre-pandemic development. Certainly, solely employment within the data sector has recovered above the pre-pandemic development. We relate this measure with sectoral wage inflation within the scatter plot under.

Sectors with Larger Wage Inflation Additionally Have the Largest Hole in Employment Restoration

Scatter plot and downward trend line; employment recovery y-axis 85 to 110; wage inflation 0 to 10.
Supply: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Notes: cns is building, edu is training and well being providers, fin is monetary actions, Inf is data, lsr is leisure and hospitality, mfg is manufacturing, prf is skilled and enterprise providers, srv is providers, and trd is commerce, transportation, and utilities.

Whereas sectoral labor markets seem extraordinarily tight, there’s a important hole when it comes to employment within the sectors with the best wage pressures. One potential interpretation of the sectoral gaps in employment is that employees aren’t keen to reenter the labor market particularly in particular sectors the place staff work in shut contact with others and are extra uncovered to COVID.

Conclusions

We take a look at the standing of labor market situations from a sectoral perspective. Whereas labor market indicators level at tight sectoral labor markets, the employment degree in virtually all of the sectors continues to be under the pre-pandemic development. The heterogeneity on the sectoral degree when it comes to wage development, labor market tightness and employment degree counsel that the latest acceleration in nominal wage is related to pandemic particular components. Our evaluation means that the rebalancing of the labor market may very well be restored from the availability aspect as employment return in the direction of pre-pandemic ranges relatively than the demand aspect by decreasing the variety of vacancies.

Photo: portrait of Gianluca Benigno

Gianluca Benigno is the pinnacle of Worldwide Research within the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York’s Analysis and Statistics Group.

Serra Pelin is a former senior analysis analyst within the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York’s Analysis and Statistics Group

The right way to cite this publish:
Gianluca Benigno and Serra Pelin, “Pandemic Wage Pressures,” Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York Liberty Road Economics, August 4, 2022, https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2022/08/pandemic-wage-pressures/.


Disclaimer
The views expressed on this publish are these of the creator(s) and don’t essentially mirror the place of the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the duty of the creator(s).