Undercurrent

Real wages down year over year

By: - August 15, 2018 2:27 pm
wages chart

wages chartReal average hourly earnings for all employees in the U.S. decreased 0.2 percent from July 2017 to July 2018, the Bureau of Labor statistics reported this week.

For production and nonsupervisory employees, real average hourly earnings decreased 0.4 percent compared to July 2017.

Economists are infamously “puzzled” as to why higher employment rates have not translated to higher wages.

Some contend that post-Great Recession structural economic changes have combined with public policy decisions to create a precariously employed workforce with little leverage to demand higher wages, and warn that the wage stagnation of the last several years may persist indefinitely.

Others predict that it is just a matter of time, and that steadily falling unemployment rates of recent years are bound to create a tighter labor market that will force employers to pay higher wages sooner or later.

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.

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