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Greater Houston Wages And Salaries Rising Faster

Workers are seeing their buying power increase, as pay rates run well ahead of inflation.



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Wages and salaries for Greater Houston's private sector rose by 2.5 percent over the year ending in September. That's up from just 1.5 percent for the twelve months ending September 2014.

The rise in pay rates largely ran ahead of the cost of living.

"The latest increase we have in inflation is actually going to be for the twelve months ending in August," says Cheryl Abbot, a regional economist with the Dallas office of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "But inflation was virtually non-existent. It was 0.3 percent. So that means if you are lucky enough to get a wage increase in Houston, you're actually seeing that as a real increase, because retail prices are pretty much flat over the year."

Nationwide, wages and salaries rose by 2.1 percent for the year ending in September.

Pay rates typically rise as labor markets grow tighter. Houston-area unemployment has fallen to a low of 4.6 percent, even as the region has recorded a net loss of 9,200 jobs this year.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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