In recent weeks, higher numbers of Americans have been watching their incomes decline. Alexandre Tanzi reports in Bloomberg:
The share of US adults with decreasing incomes has ticked higher in recent weeks, another sign that the labor market is slowly cooling.
The increase — to 11.8% last month from 10.7% in August — was driven primarily by high- and middle-income households and the West region, according to a survey of the US labor market from data intelligence company Morning Consult. Among adults with an annual income of $100,000 or more, close to 20% say they expect their incomes to fall in the next four weeks.
The poll also pointed to a slowdown in business activity, with the share of workers who reported working over 35 hours falling to 46.7% — the lowest level since the spring of 2021 and down more than 12 percentage points from September 2022. The most cited reason by respondents was soft business conditions.
Still, American workers remain confident about their ability to get raises. The data show a strong uptrend in workers’ perceptions of their own bargaining power, with more believing that their employer would match or raise their pay if they were to get an external offer.
More workers are also testing the labor market. Job search activity among prime-age adults from August to September rose to the highest level since a least September 2020. Higher shares of workers actively applying for new positions is generally viewed as a sign of labor market strength.
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