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February 23, 2005


The "Bush Boom" continues:

Real average weekly earnings fell by 0.2 percent from December 2004 to January 2005 after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. A 0.2 percent increase in average hourly earnings was more than offset by a 0.3 percent decline in average weekly hours and a 0.1 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Data on average weekly earnings are collected from the payroll reports of private nonfarm establishments. Earnings of both full-time and part-time workers holding production or nonsupervisory jobs are included. Real average weekly earnings are calculated by adjusting earnings in current dollars for changes in the CPI-W.

Average weekly earnings rose by 2.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, from January 2004 to January 2005. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings decreased by 0.7 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $538.86 in January 2005, compared with $517.82 a year earlier.

We are still very, very far from full employment. If we were anywhere close to full employment, real wages would not still be falling.

Posted by DeLong at February 23, 2005 10:57 AM