Increase in pay reflects more job growth

Wages and salaries nearly doubled in the second quarter, possibly reflecting greater than expected job growth, according to revised numbers released Tuesday by the Commerce Department.

Workers' pay increased at an annual pace of $97.4 billion from the first quarter, up from the previously reported gain of $51.1 billion, the report said. 

During the past four quarters, wages have increased 2.8 percent, the best year-over-year performance since the middle of 2008. Meanwhile, consumer spending increased at the same 2.8 percent pace, the most in about four years, improving the prospects for 2011. 

The Commerce report also showed a revised increase in economic growth up to 2.5 percent from 2 percent, bolstered by increased consumer spending, while savings also were up as households try to repair their balance sheets. 

The savings rate increased to 6.2 percent in the second quarter, up from 5.8 percent in second quarter, today’s report showed. The data was revised up from prior estimates of 5.9 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.