Friday, August 14, 2009

Record Real Wage Increase of 5.15% in July

According to today's BLS Real Earnings report, average hourly earnings for workers in private industries, measured in real dollars (constant 1982 dollars), increased in July by 5.1% compared to July of last year, and this is the largest percentage increase in real hourly earnings in BLS history (back to 1965, see chart above). The 5.1% increase marks the first time ever that real hourly earnings have increased more than 5% in a single month (vs. the same month in the previous year).
Originally posted at Carpe Diem.


At 8/14/2009 9:52 AM, Blogger Fishsticks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/14/2009 10:00 AM, Blogger Fishsticks said...

This does not square with labor slack. Increased real hourly earnings does not occur when demand decreases and supply increases. Average weekly hours is down to record lows. Capacity utilization is at record lows. The ONLY thing I see pushing up real wages is the minimum wage. Unfortunately increasing (by dictate) a persons wage does not increase their marginal productivity.

At 8/14/2009 10:23 AM, Blogger Audacity17 said...

What Fishticks said ^^.

At 8/14/2009 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, we're not seeing what can be categorically referred to as "good news".

The link to the BLS data states that the majority of the increase in earnings stems from an "increase in average weekly hours". So yes, when hourly workers have to work more hours, their weekly earnings increase.

The other part of the weekly wage increase stems from an increase in the average hourly wage. When you layoff your junior and less tenured workers and require your remaining workers to work more hours to pick up the slack, then average hourly wages are increased.

At 8/14/2009 2:54 PM, Anonymous Cooper said...

While people are loosing their jobs, and those who aren't are getting pay cuts and fuloughs, all I can see pointing to the 5% increase in Real Wages is the -2.1% fall in prices. Dont forget this is July/July so we're compairing $140 oil to $70

At 8/14/2009 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cut out a lot of low wage employees and watch average wages and productivity rise.

Aggregate personal income is falling.

At 8/14/2009 5:54 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Don Marron in a June 29 commentary in Seeking Alpha noted the following: Government Transfers as a Share of Personal Income Hits 18%

Is this how we want to measure real wage increases?

Again from an Aug. 4 posting on Seeking Alpha: The recession continues to take its toll on the American consumer, new government data released today advises. Disposable personal income dropped a hefty 1.3% in June, reports the Bureau of Economic Analysis. On the other hand, consumer spending rose 0.4% in June

So how do the so called, 'real wages really get measured?

At 8/14/2009 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems to me that this funny professor is laughing to all those american unemployed... pretty bullshit...

At 8/14/2009 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think this post provides us enough information to say how Perry feels about the unemployed. Perry posts good economic news, and this post is good economic news, but I (as I said in an earlier comment) don't believe it is proof of recovery.

Another anon commenter said "Cut out a lot of low wage employees and watch average wages and productivity rise."

That's exactly right and it is entirely necessary in any functioning economy. The wage increase is most likely a result of our economic contraction.

At 8/15/2009 9:43 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

I think the best news in the report is the increase in hours worked. This is probably the best indicator that there is more work that needs to be done. This is good news for the underemployed and optimistic for the unemployed.


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