1 December 2023

Square’s Payroll Index Shines a Spotlight on Rising Wages in Retail and Restaurants

By Ronald Smith

When it comes to jobs in the retail and restaurant industries, the Square Payroll Index has some interesting news to share. It seems that wages in these sectors are on the rise, and that’s definitely worth paying attention to.

I have been taking a closer look at the data, and let me tell you, the findings are quite intriguing. It turns out that more and more workers in retail and restaurants are seeing an increase in their earnings. This is great news for those who work in these fields.

What could be driving this increase in wages, you might wonder? One reason could be the increasingly competitive job market. As the economy improves, more companies are competing for talented workers. And when there’s competition, wages tend to go up.

Another factor could be the ever-growing demand for workers in these industries. With more people eating out and shopping, there is a higher demand for personnel to meet these needs. And when demand surpasses supply, employers are willing to pay more to attract and retain skilled workers.

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the numbers. According to the Square Payroll Index, in the retail sector, wages have gone up by an impressive 15% in the last year. That’s a significant jump! And it’s not just retail workers who are experiencing this growth. Employees in the restaurant industry have also seen a nice 14% increase in their wages.

But it’s not just the numbers that caught my attention; it’s the real-life stories behind them. Take Susan, for example. She works as a cashier at a clothing store and has noticed a steady increase in her pay over the past year. It’s made a real difference in her life, allowing her to feel more stable and confident about her financial future.

And then there’s Mike, a chef at a popular restaurant. He mentioned that with the rise in his wages, he has been able to afford a few extra luxuries for himself and his family. It’s amazing how a little extra money can go a long way in making life a bit more comfortable.

So, to all the hardworking individuals in the retail and restaurant industries, I say congratulations! Your efforts are being recognized and rewarded. And to those considering a career in these fields, it’s definitely a good time to jump in.

As we continue to monitor the trends in the job market, it will be interesting to see how wages in these industries evolve. But for now, let’s celebrate the positive news and the progress being made.

Square's Payroll Index Shines a Spotlight on Rising Wages in Retail and Restaurants

Guess what? I’ve got some really exciting news for small business owners like you! You know how we’re always worried about wages and stuff? Well, Square has come to the rescue with an awesome solution!

They’ve created something called the Square Payroll Index. It’s this super cool tool that uses Square’s enormous database to show us how much retail and restaurant workers across the United States are earning per hour. Pretty amazing, right?

Now, I know that a lot of small businesses in the retail and restaurant industries are still struggling because of the pandemic. So, having an understanding of wage trends is really important. And that’s exactly what the Square Payroll Index provides!

This fantastic tool gives us all the data we need to see how wages are changing, both nationally and in different cities. It’s not just useful for business owners, but also for policymakers and the media. We can all use this information to make better decisions and navigate through these challenging times.

Now, you might be wondering, what exactly do these numbers say?

I’ve got some interesting facts to share with you. So, even though things have been a bit slow recently, the money I make per hour (including tips and overtime) is actually growing faster than my base wage. Can you believe it? It’s even beating inflation! In September, I earned a median wage of $17.44 as a food and drink worker. That includes my base wage of $13.64 plus tips and overtime. Pretty cool, right? And for retail workers like me, the median wage was $16.31 per hour, with a base wage of $15.80.

Now, how do I know all this? Well, it’s all thanks to Square. They have access to a ton of payroll data, so they can give us these detailed insights. Every month, they process wages for hundreds of thousands of hourly workers, adding up to more than $6 billion in a year. Talk about a lot of money! With all this info, Square can really understand what’s going on with the finances and trends in two of America’s most common jobs.

I’m Saumil Mehta, and I’m in charge of Square’s Point of Sale and Omnichannel department. Let me tell you why these sectors are so important to our economy. See, finding and keeping great employees can be tough for our sellers. But with Square Payroll data, we can track how wages are growing in these key sectors. This helps our sellers build strong teams and provides a useful new measure for people to talk about.

But wait, there’s some not-so-great news. The latest data shows that the increase in wages per hour during the post-pandemic job boom has slowed down. Actually, the growth of average hourly earnings is now lower than it was in 2019. Ara Kharazian, who is in charge of research and data at Square, points out that things have declined from the high points we saw earlier in 2022. However, even with these adjustments in the job market, the data makes it clear that wages have consistently grown more than the cost of living for a whole year. And that’s a bright spot for workers like you and me.

Here’s something interesting: workers in the food and drink industry have actually seen better wage growth compared to their colleagues in retail. According to Square’s data, hourly earnings have increased more than the rate of inflation for 12 straight months, even reaching 3.7% in August 2023.

As a small business owner, I know how important data can be when it comes to hiring and keeping good employees, especially in a tough market like this. That’s why tools like Square’s Payroll Index are so valuable – they give me the information I need to make smart decisions.

Square is all about bringing together the worlds of commerce and fintech, and they’ve got a whole range of solutions designed to help businesses like mine. Whether it’s software for running a restaurant or retail store, financial services, or tools for managing my staff, Square is there to support businesses everywhere.