June Real Employee Earnings Disappoint
Real average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.2 percent from May to June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports. The change was a result of the 0.2 percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index, which led to the .02 percent increase for average hourly earnings. On its own, the average hourly earnings did not change.
This is the second month of positive trending, after a rough downward trending period in early 2011
While at first glance, this seems like good news for consumers (a decrease in the Consumer Price Index could mean less inflation, or more buying power), other data aims to counterbalance the gains.
It looks like real average weekly earnings fell 0.1 percent over the month, as a result of the increase in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in average weekly hours. Since reaching a recent peak in October 2010, real average weekly earnings have fallen 1.4 percent.
This means that worker wages are still down and have yet to improve substantially. And when we look at changes over the whole year:
From June 2010 to June 2011, real average hourly earnings fell 1.5 percent, seasonally adjusted. A 0.6-percent increase in average weekly hours combined with the decrease in real average hourly earnings resulted in a 0.9 percent decrease in real average weekly earnings during this period.