Wage increases for employees are giving an unexpected boost to the nation's economy. According to the Economic Policy Institute, hourly wages have increased more sharply than at any time since early 2002. The growth in hourly wages has surprised most economists considering the employment decline. The labor market is operating under unusual conditions, and companies may be offering higher wages to hold on to their employees.
See David Leonhardt and Edmund L. Andrews, The New York Times, October 26, 2003