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Real Earnings Decline in June


The BLS report on real wages came out on July 16. The headline number is seasonally adjusted real average hourly earnings for all employees. This was unchanged in June at $10.31 (nominal $24.01).

The more indicative number is weekly earnings. These fell 0.1% in June to $355.60. (Real weekly earnings are nominal wages deflated by the CPI and take into account changes in the length of the work week. All real earnings are expressed in constant 1982-1984 dollars.)

Year over year, that is compared to June 2012, real average weekly earnings for all employees increased 0.7% from $353.13 to $355.60.

All employees include higher wage earners. The BLS also measures wages for production (blue collar) and nonsupervisory (clerical) workers. This group accounts for about four-fifths of non-farm jobs.

Real average hourly earnings seasonally adjusted for this group fell 0.3% in June to $8.78. This was mirrored by a decline in real average weekly earnings of 0.3% to $295.94.

Year over year, real average weekly earnings have increased 0.2% from $295.30 to $295.94.

The report basically shows ongoing largely stagnant earnings. Most workers lost ground in their earnings in June, and that most of these losses were concentrated at the lower end of the earnings scale. Year over year, all workers, on average, experienced some increase in earnings with most of the gains occurring at the high end (top 20%) of the earnings scale.

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