After peaking in May, Wisconsin saw a slowdown in wage growth that continued in the fourth quarter, but the increase in average hourly wages remained above 5% in December, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average hourly wage in the state across the private sector was $30.74 in December, up 5.45% from $29.15 in December 2021.
Weekly wages in Wisconsin saw less robust growth with the average private sector employee receiving $1,005.20 per week in December, up 3.24% from $973.61 in December 2021.
Year-over-year growth for both measures peaked in May at 8.1% for average hourly wage and 7.1% for average weekly wages.
Wisconsin’s December weekly wage growth ranked 31st in the country. With an average of 4.98%, the state ranked 15th in the country for wage growth in the third quarter and fell to 23rd in the fourth quarter with average growth of 4.62%.
The state ranks higher in terms of average hourly wage growth. December’s 5.45% reading came in 19th in the country. Averages of 5.81% and 5.67% were 17th and 18th for the third and fourth quarters respectively.
At an industry level, goods producing sectors generally saw stronger wage growth in Wisconsin than service providers during the second half of the year.
Goods producing sectors averaged 5.8% growth in weekly wages for the second half of the year, up from 2.5% in the first half.
The construction sector led the way in the second half with a nearly 8.2% average increase. Weekly wages across all of manufacturing were up 2.8% on average during the second half of the year, although production workers saw an average increase of 4.9%.
Service sectors saw an average increase of 4.5% during the second half of the year, a decline from the 7.4% average increase in the first half of the year.
Within services, professional and business services saw the strongest growth, averaging an 11.2% increase in the second half of the year, up from 7.4% in the first half.
Two service sectors hit hard by staffing challenges – education and health services and leisure and hospitality – saw a slowdown in wage growth during the second half of the year.
The average weekly wage in education and health services was up just 2.3% in December and the sector averaged a 1.5% year-over-year increase for the second half of the year. In the first half of 2022, the average increase was 4.3%.
In leisure and hospitality, the average weekly wage was $386.88 in December, a 5.7% increase from the prior year. For the entire second half of the year, the sector averaged a 5% increase, down from 9.2% in the first half.