With U.S. unemployment at record lows, wage growth has been slow to follow and has only recently returned to precrisis levels. Wage growth had been stuck below the 2.5% mark coming out of the crisis before inching up mid-2014. Meanwhile, savings set aside from workers' disposable income has been volatile. December's savings rate rose to 7.6% from 6.1%, likely in anticipation of rising interest rates.
The January reading from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the unemployment rate was 3.9%, up slightly from September's 50-year 3.8% low. Unemployment peaked at 10% in December 2009. Year-over-year wage growth, as estimated by the Federal Research Bank of Atlanta, was about 3.8% as of Dec. 31, up from 2.9% 12 months earlier.