In April 2019, the Upjohn Institute New Hires Quality Index shows inflation-adjusted hourly earnings power of individuals starting a new job rose 0.7 percent from a year prior, rising from $16.52 to $16.63. This marks 14 straight months in which the index has risen year over year, although the rate of growth has slowed down over the past two months, and the NHQI is no longer at an all-time high. Hourly earnings power of new hires has risen 5.9 percent since 2005, according to the index.
Much of the acceleration in the overall NHQI wage growth since 2018 appears to be concentrated in the public sector: over the past 16 months, the public-sector NHQI is up 3.3 percent, but the private-sector NHQI is up only 0.8 percent. This means that government is hiring individuals into higher-skilled and higher-paying occupations faster than the private sector.