U.S. businesses were much less likely to boost pay in the third quarter than in previous months, even as hiring remained healthy, a sign that wage gains may remain weak in the coming months.
A quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics found that only 24 percent of companies increased wages and salaries in the July-September quarter. That's down from 43 percent in the April-June quarter and the first drop after three straight increases.
Yet the firms still added jobs at a healthy pace, which usually pushes wages higher as employers compete for workers. A measure of hiring in the survey dipped in the third quarter but remained near a three-year high. The figures suggest that the number of people out of work remains high enough that companies aren't under any pressure to raise pay.