Counting on an annual raise to boost your paycheck this year? Don't start spending that extra cash just yet. For the fifth month in a row now, salary growth has slowed, according to our Local Pay Reports. In fact, the median base pay for U.S. workers in June rose just 1.7 percent year-over-year — the slowest pace recorded since March 2016.
What's worse, for the first time in three years, that wage growth was slower than the rate of inflation (1.9 percent). In other words, the world around us is getting more expensive faster than most paychecks can catch up.
Whether this signals a larger economic slowdown remains to be seen, but what you can draw from this is that getting proactive about asking for a raise is becoming increasingly important. Rather than sitting around and waiting for your manager or HR to increase your paycheck, you need to speak up if you want to see more money in the bank at the end of each month.
But the good news is, it's not too late. The economy is still relatively strong, with the unemployment rate down to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent last month. And while wage growth is stagnating, it is still increasing, so obtaining a raise is certainly not impossible (especially if you can demonstrate your value — more on that below!). However, there's no guarantee that these conditions will last forever, so it's important to take advantage of them while you can.
Convinced to take the leap and ask for a raise? Here's what you need to do.