Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Real Earnings Decline - Again

by Bill McBride on 2/23/2005 09:48:00 AM

The BLS reports that real weekly earnings declined 0.2% from Dec '04 to Jan '05. For the full year, real weekly earnings decreased by 0.7%.

Average weekly hours declined 0.3% from Dec '04 to Jan '05. This decrease in weekly hours is unusual for a "recovering" economy.

The annual decline in real wages and the decline in hours worked are concerning. One of my points in yesterday's post, A Recovery Built on a Marshland of Debt?, was that "an astounding increase in debt ... has occurred while the median real wage has hardly changed." That trend is continuing.

NOTE: The BLS offers a service that provides News Releases via email. I recommend it.