By Michael Teich
Wage growth in the U.S. hit a nine-year high in August, and that may be partly thanks to innovations in tech, said a founder and CEO of blue-collar employment platform Merlin.
"Technology is by nature inflationary," Güimar Vaca Sittic said in an interview with Cheddar Friday.
Average hourly pay in August jumped 10 cents to $27.16, up 2.9 percent from last year, according to the latest employment report. August also marked the 95th straight month of job growth in the U.S. The availability of online social networking tools, combined with new opportunities created by emerging technologies, allows workers to demand higher salaries, Vaca Sittic said.
"High-tech companies are building new services and are contributing to the rise in wages. But you also have companies like ours that focus on matching hourly workers with employers," he said.
While industry giant LinkedIn focuses on white-collar jobs (banking and marketing, for example) Merlin caters to those in careers like construction and restaurant servers. The company operates with the belief that this class of workers is under-served by job sites. Construction companies added 23,000 jobs in August, and employment in the industry has grown by 297,000 over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Two-thirds of the U.S. workforce are working in our categories, and we don't see that going anywhere," fellow co-founder and co-CEO Borja Moreno de los Rios told Cheddar Friday.
Merlin launched in the New York City area last month.
For full interview click here.