Last time companies paid up this much for the least productive workers, the Fed had already finished its hiking cycle.
I suspect the headline number is being subdued by baby boomers retiring at their peak earnings/ productivity or taking on some part time lower pay work prior to fully retiring.
Eitherway the $ wage bill grew faster in H1 than $s of GDP, so we have a sectoral rebalancing already underway.
As the Fed gets forced into catch up the USD should rally and bond yields rise, which pushes back my EURUSD at 1.30 forecast for a while. It will also squeeze corporate margins even more, which low market breadth is perhaps hinting at despite the gap between GAAP and non-GAAP earnings already being almost 10%.