New data shows job growth, but lawmakers want higher wages - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New data shows job growth, but lawmakers want higher wages

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows more than 200,000 jobs were added in the U.S. last month but some say the work to stay on that trend is far from over.

With the unemployment rate continuing to drop nationwide Wisconsin is feeling the trend too. The states unemployment rate is tied for an all time low at 3%. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) says despite the good news he’s wondering when people will begin to see bigger paychecks.

"The stock market going up and you seen productivity, but your not seeing that shared,” Pocan said. “Your starting to finally see some what of a wage increase, but that's what's really been left behind in the recovery.”

Rebuilding after the 2008 recession looks good on paper and some economic experts say the work is far from over.

"Interest rates will begin to tick up just a little bit and that will put a little break on some of the growth," Steven Deller UW Professor and Community Development Specialist said.

New data from the BLS shows wage increases could soon be on the way. Average earnings jumped close to 3% in January compared from 2017.

"That's what's missing I think we need to do much more focus for the average person in Wisconsin and see their paychecks increase in a continued way," Pocan said.

Deller does warn that not all monthly reports can predict the future and several years of data shows wage growth picks up to only fall back a few months later. “The downside to is that a lot of the wage growth is in higher skilled higher education occupations and in lower occupations were not seeing that upward movement in wages," Deller said.

If predictions hold true, it's likely to have political ramifications. President Trump praised his economic record during his State of the Union address this week which can help GOP lawmakers in reelections.

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