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Schweitzer Labs seeking workers

April 30, 2021 Updated Fri., April 30, 2021 at 10:37 p.m.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories announced Friday it will raise its starting hourly wage for U.S. employees to $16 per hour starting Saturday.

The company also announced it is seeking to hire 50 workers for its manufacturing teams working in Pullman and Lewiston.

The wage hike, which also includes benefits and an employee stock ownership plan, follows a starting wage hike to $15.50 in April 2020.

The 50 job openings are for entry-level production employees who will assemble the electronic devices in both Pullman and Lewiston.

U.S. wages grow to start the year

WASHINGTON – Wages and benefits grew quickly for U.S. workers in the first three months of the year, a sign that businesses are starting to offer higher pay.

U.S. workers’ total compensation rose 0.9% in the January-March quarter, the largest gain in more than 13 years, the Labor Department said Friday.

That’s up from 0.7% in the final three months of last year. Still, the increase is just barely above 0.8% gains in two quarters in 2018.

The solid rise comes after weaker increases during the pandemic, when the unemployment rate initially shot to nearly 15% before declining steadily to 6% in March.

As a result, workers’ pay and benefits rose just 2.6% in the year ending in March. down from 2.8% a year earlier.

The data comes from the Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index, which measures pay changes for workers that keep their jobs. Unlike some other measures of Americans’ paychecks, it isn’t directly affected by mass layoffs such as the pandemic job losses that occurred last spring.

From staff and wire reports

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