The Labor Department released its June jobs report, and the numbers were rosy: 222,000 jobs were added last month — higher than the 174,000 predicted by economists — and the jobless rate fell to 4.4%, the lowest level since 2001.
But with such optimistic figures, why does wage growth remain stagnant at 2.5%? Bloomberg believes there are several reasons at play. Among them:
  • Younger workers replacing boomers in the workforce don't make as much as their older counterparts
  • Memories of high unemployment during the Great Recession have meant people are more hesitant to ask for raises
  • Employers stopped giving raises after the recession to offset the fact that they didn't lower wages during tougher financial times
  • People who returned to the full-time workforce after being unemployed make less than they used to
Economists predict that wage growth will be on the uptick later this year, but that doesn't quite help your bank account now. Here’s how to try for some extra pay:
Ask for a spot bonus. If you made good — and then some — on several of your goals this year, it doesn't hurt to ask for a one-time spot bonus to compensate you for your hard work.
See if your company offers a referral bonus. Bad hires are costly for business, so see if your employer offers any cash for bringing in new superstars.
Ask for a flexible schedule. Working from home more often helps cut down on commuting costs, and it's an easy way for your manager to help keep you happy at little cost to the company.