Real Wages Fall Again as Bidenflation Beats Earnings

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. President Joe Biden arrive at the U.S. Capitol for a Senate Democratic luncheon July 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Despite many workers in the U.S. seeing larger paychecks, they are seeing their finances squeezed by high prices because inflation is still outpacing wage gains.

Real average hourly and weekly earnings for U.S. employees fell one percent from May to June, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

This result stems from an increase of 0.3 percent in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 1.3 percent in inflation.

Compared with a year ago, real average hourly earnings decreased 3.6 percent. Earnings are up 0.9 percent but inflation has driven prices up 4.4 percent.

Real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees were down by even more, falling 1.1 percent from May to June, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from a 0.5-percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 1.5 percent in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, the index the government believes best reflects the costs these workers face.

Over the past 12 months, real average hourly earnings fell 3.1 percent, seasonally adjusted. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.9-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 3.9-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings over this period.

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