Earnings are up a fraction of a percent in February, but the CPI is up four times as much. The result is “real” earnings are down once again, having peaked in October 2010.
Real average hourly earnings for all employees fell 0.3 percent from January 2012 to February 2012, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A 0.1 percent increase in the average hourly earnings was more than offset by a 0.4 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
Real average weekly earnings fell 0.3 percent over the month due to the decline in the real average hourly earnings combined with an unchanged workweek. Since reaching a peak in October 2010, real average weekly earnings has fallen 1.2 percent.
Real average hourly earnings fell 1.1 percent, seasonally adjusted, from February 2011 to February 2012. The decrease in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.6 percent increase in average weekly hours resulted in a 0.4 percent decrease in real average weekly earnings during this period.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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