A growing U.S. economy will boost jobs and press wages even higher, according to a report Thursday by the American Bankers Association's Economic Advisory Committee.
The group - of 17 economists from the nation's largest banks - expects the economy to repeat 2016 by adding another 1.9 million jobs this year. It also expects the economy to add another 1.8 million jobs in 2018, the same year that the U.S. jobless rate is expected to drop to 4.5 percent..
There will be increased "competition for workers, fostering wage pressures," the economists said. The committee predicts hourly wages will rise by 2.7 percent in 2017, the fastest pace in eight years.
The search for qualified workers remains a sore spot for manufacturers and other industries nationwide.
Many factory heads complain that they already struggle with the nation's low unemployment rate, now at a low 4.6 percent. Manufacturers say they already pay well - offering new-hires wages that are above $19 an hour.
Now economists predict that such figures will only rise higher, because competition is fierce for new hires that can program, fix and run several automated machines at the same time.