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Why 2015 may be the year of rising wages

We're all hoping for an improvement in hourly wages in the February jobs report, out today. At his popular economics blog Calculated Risk, Bill McBride writes that workers are in for a year of bigger paychecks. In 2015, he writes, we could finally see Americans' wages rise meaningfully.

He gives three big reasons (you can — and should — read his entire post here). Here's the short version:

1. Lots of improving jobs indicators, including a pickup in worker quits and decline in involuntary part-timers.

2. Major companies (including the biggest US employer, Walmart) have announced higher wages.

3. High-profile labor issues, as evidenced by the West Coast ports strike and current refinery strikes.

Those first two are common reasons economists and pundits give these days about why they're optimistic about the job market, but unions don't tend to come up quite as often. But the idea, McBride writes, is that a striking union — even in an era of union decline — is a sign that workers have gained some ground.

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