Today’s U.S. real wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics kept mocking the claims that the United States is teetering on the edge of a dangerous round of wage inflation. In fact, the statistics show that in February, real wage recessions (periods of two quarters of more when after-inflation hourly pay has dropped on net) actually continued.
The month-to-month January-February flat-line in inflation-adjusted private sector wages means that this form of compensation is down cumulatively by 0.28 percent since last May. Worse, January’s 0.19 percent sequential decrease was revised down to a 0.28 percent drop.
In manufacturing, after-inflation wages as of February were 0.19 percent lower than they were in January, 2016. Month-on-month in February, they dipped by 0.09 percent. At least January’s sequential decline of 0.46 percent was revised up – to a 0.37 percent decrease.
Since the onset of the current economic recovery, more than eight years ago, real private sector wages have improved by only 3.98 percent. But that performance is more than ten times better than that of manufacturing, where this pay has grown by only 0.28 percent during that period.