Echoing similar trends found in NJBIA’s recent 2022 Business Outlook Survey, two new studies also show that small business owners are raising wages to counter continuing labor shortages.

The Paychex/HIS Markit Small Business Employment Watch report this week that labor challenges and the highest inflation in three decades increased wages at a record 4.1% annual rate in November.

The index of payroll data from 350,000 companies showed the average hourly earnings at companies with fewer than 50 employees rose last month to $29.88 – up $1.17 compared to November, 2020.

Similarly, companies are budgeting 3.9% wage increases in 2022, according to a report this week by the Conference Board.

Released last week, NJBIA’s 63rd Business Outlook Survey reported that 33% of employers increased pay for their workers by 5% or more in 2021. All totaled, 72% increased wages this year – compared to 54% who raised pay in 2020.

Businesses expect that upward trend to continue in 2022 with 22% saying they’ll increase wages more than 5%. A year ago, only 9% said they would increase pay more than 5%.