Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This is bad: real wages *declined* in January; may be rolling over

So, was January simply reflecting the 1st of the year minimum wage hikes?
(plus Wall Street and management)

From The Bonddad blog:
Consumer prices rose +0.5% in January. That in itself isn't bad news, as they rose an equal +0.5% one year ago, so the YoY inflation rate remains at +2.1% (so if 2% really is a target rather than a ceiling, it should not give the Fed any cause for alarm).
But that much vaunted wage hike in the January jobs report has entirely disappeared, and not just for non-managerial workers, but for the average of all workers including managers. In fact in January real wages declined.
And the trend is a little worrying.
To begin with, real wages declined -0.3% for ordinary workers, and they are now down -0.8% from their July peak:
On a YoY basis, real wages are only up +0.3%:
Even worse, they are only up +0.1% from January 2016!
Note that even when we include managers, real wages fell in January, and are -0.5% below where they were in July:
Another metric that I think is very important is aggregate real payrolls for non-managerial workers.  This tells us how much money, in real terms, the middle and working class are earning....MORE
Feb. 2