Despite the doom and gloom created by the stock market’s lackluster performance in January, the job market posted another positive month. With the 151,000 job added last month, the nation’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent. This is arguably a far cry from the 10 percent rate that saddled the economy in 2009. And it is a sign that America’s economy is gaining strength despite slowdowns in other major economies; particularly China.

 Another significant development coming out of January’s job report was that workers’ wages are poised to increase as companies may find it increasingly difficult to find and retain qualified workers According to a recent nytimes.com report, the growth of hiring and declining unemployment rate are all factors that could lead employers to pay more to keep good workers. 

In fact, the last six months were the best months for employee wages since the nation’s economy began to recover from the recession over six years ago.

Indeed, the unsteadiness of the stock market lends to the uncertainty of whether the growth of the job market (and with it, workers’ wages). But it is important for employees to know how valuable they are as they look for higher wages or contest discrimination in the workplace regarding compensation.

With legislation calling for employers to carry the burden of proving that pay discrepancies are based on gender neutral requirements, it remains to be seen whether employees will fare better in such lawsuits. In the meantime, for those who have questions about their legal rights when it comes to compensation, an experienced attorney can advise them.