Back in May 2022, I wrote about the very bad picture for inflation-adjusted wages in the US. While they were still slightly above pre-pandemic levels, wages had been falling consistently since the beginning of 2021.
But since then, we’ve got some better news. The chart below shows the data (note: I’m using wages for private production and non-supervisory workers here, rather than for all private workers in the May post).
While the overall inflation picture still looks bad, with 7.1% annual inflation in the latest report, we also see that in the past 5 months wage growth has exceeded CPI growth. It’s also been true compared with the PCE price index for the past 4 available months (November PCE data won’t be available until next Friday). Inflation has cooled slightly in the past few months, while wages have continued to grow.
This all means that real (inflation-adjusted) average wages in the US have been rising consistently since June 2022. Finally, some good news!