Small companies in the U.S. see wage growth accelerating in coming months after 23 percent said in September that they recently boosted worker compensation.
A net 16 percent of managers last month said they plan to increase pay, up 3 percentage points from August and the second- largest share since 2007, according to the seasonally adjusted results of 656 responses in a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. The proportion of business owners who said they had recently raised pay was unchanged from August.
The group’s index of small-business optimism rose to a four-month high of 96.1 in September from 95.9. The measure remains below the 42-year average of 98.
The survey by the NFIB, a lobbying group that says it has 325,000 small and independent business owners as members, was a leading indicator of national wage growth until 2012, when the correlation broke down. Since the start of 2013, the percentage of smaller companies preparing to increase pay has been as low as 6 percent and as high as 17 percent.
Average hourly earnings reported on Oct. 2 by the Labor Department advanced 2.2 percent in September from a year earlier, unchanged from the 12 months ended in August.