Congratulations Workers! You Make One Penny More Than a Year Ago

Real wages for production and nonsupervisory workers are up precisely one penny per hour from January of 2017.

On Wednesday, the BLS announced Real Earnings for January 2018.

All employees

Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.2 percent from December to January, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.3-percent increase in average hourly earnings offset by a 0.5-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.8 percent over the month due to the decrease in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.6-percent decrease in the average workweek.

Production and nonsupervisory employees

Real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased 0.5 percent from December to January, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from a 0.1-percent increase in average hourly earnings offset by a 0.6-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.8 percent over the month due to the decrease in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in average weekly hours.

From January 2017 to January 2018, real average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent, seasonally adjusted. The increase in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek resulted in a 0.2-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.

Hooray!

Production and nonsupervisory workers make a penny more per hour. In the all employees category we see sterling results: an increase of eight cents per hour.

If you are a production worker, who works 40 hours a week with two week's paid vacation you have an extra $20.08 to spend in real terms compared to a year ago, that's an extra $1.67 per month.

If you are management, you make the big bucks. You have an extra $160.64 in real terms. That's an extra $13.39 per month.

The pundits are all worried about wage inflation.

Spend it wisely folks.

Wage Inflation

The situation is even worse than I thought.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (21)
No. 1-21
Stuki
Stuki

…..And, out of that penny, you are mandated to spend an additional $100 a month for less health care. Or, to be more precise, to spend $100 less for health care, $200 more to fund a parade where a bunch of produce-nothing-consume-a-lot yahoos get to preen around pretending they have “given” health care to people, and are therfore, like, sophistimecated like, uh, the Euros and stuff…

Anyway, how much producers/workers get to take home in aggregate, has to equal that which they produce, minus that which is doled out to others in exchange for anything other than producing. As all real value handed out, first has to be produced. As long as official policy is to fork over hand over fist to idle “asset owners,” for merely sitting there looking stupid; it’s hardly surprising that little is left to hand out as compensation for actual work/production. You simply can’t have it both ways, no matter how hard the Fed the rest of the graft beneficiaries work to obfuscate that fact.

Schaap60
Schaap60

Great, but not enough for that Costco membership.

Snow_Dog
Snow_Dog

I’ve seen this movie once before. It’s called “We Pretend to Work and They Pretend To Pay Us”.
You’re going to love the ending, so I won’t spoil it by posting it here at Mish’s.

WhirledPeas
WhirledPeas

Welcome to a world where production workers are paid on a scale heavily influenced by the supply of 20 million illegal aliens. It will get worse if we don't build the wall and begin real fines and jail time for CEO's of companies who hire illegal aliens.

JonSellers
JonSellers

Wait! I thought low unemployment was supposed to increase demand for labor and therefore wages! That's what all the economists said!

hmk
hmk

I don't know about the rest of the country but in MI there are help wanted signs everywhere. Speaking to business owners they have labor supply issues and have to raise wages and as a result prices. These numbers are complete BS to keep the low inflation mantra alive so the sheep will be content and the financiers who run the govt rich.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

Timely because this week we had our "2017 celebration lunch" with all the managers ...well, the ones who felt it was worth their time to make it. It was originally scheduled for back in January but I guess they all had stuff to do that was more important than thanking us for their year end bonuses. $50 worth of lunch later I'm still about as motivated as I was before, but at least I got some pretty good sushi.

QTPie
QTPie

From personal experience I can attest that it’s the same thing in the South. Pretty difficult to find workers right now (in all kinds of occupations, from retail to computer programmers). We’re definitely in the late stage of a cycle at this point.

whirlaway
whirlaway

Just a penny but at least it is a penny more, unlike the right-to-work-for-next-to-nothing laws that have lowered wages wherever they've been passed.

klausmkl
klausmkl

I live in a right to work state. it's funny how people are fleeing in mass from the socialist shit holes of california, washington and oregon to come to Idaho and make lower wages. Explain that one. If workers don't like there wage let them require better skills or move.

RonJ
RonJ

"Just a penny but at least it is a penny more, unlike the right-to-work-for-next-to-nothing laws that have lowered wages wherever they've been passed." A fair amount of TV production moved from unionized Hollywood, to Canada. Should i call California a right not to work state, as a number of jobs don't exist locally, any more?

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

Congratulations serfs! Your chocolate ration has been changed from 30 grams to 20 grams starting next week.

whirlaway
whirlaway

Jobs have moved to Canada in general because Canada has a very efficient single-payer health care system that supports businesses by taking them off the health care expense spiral created by the for-profit so-called health insurance companies...

whirlaway
whirlaway

It is this relentless race to the bottom imposed on the people that is making them desperate enough to go for fake right-wing populists like Trump. All over the world we are seeing the emergence of populists, whether left-wing or right-wing. Neoliberalism is in its death throes. Expect them to start a lot of wars across the globe to distract attention.

philbq
philbq

I live in Washington State. The Puget Sound region is booming economically and has one of the fastest growing populations in the nation. Have you heard of Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia or Costco? This "socialist shithole " is where everyone wants to be.

MorrisWR
MorrisWR

I also live in Washington and work in Seattle (live on the Eastside). I have seen Seattle go from a great city a few decades ago to a Socialist utopia (that is sarcasm). Socialist policies of the city council is destroying the city. Homeless are everywhere and I see them attack cars at night when I go to work. If people do not pay them they have a problem. The minimum wage increases has made my employer NOT increase others wages. We are union and have not had a contract for almost a year. The proposal was for a 1% increase. Most people I know are struggling with the high cost of living while wages are not increasing for many positions. Sure, we have some high tech jobs and it may appear to be going well but not for most people. Socialism is also increasing our state taxes, which are already fairly high. I work in a major hospital lab - Fortune 400)

hmk
hmk

Socialism works just ask the Russians, North Koreans, Cubans and the Chinese. They have a great standard of living compared to ours.

whirlaway
whirlaway

Libertarianism works. Just ask the Somalians!

And there is hardly any one demanding communism for the US. If you think social democracies like Germany, France, Norway, Denmark etc., are socialist hellholes, then you have a serious comprehension problem. Heck, even someone as dense as Trump knows that Norway is doing great.

Stuki
Stuki

Any state with a population of none (aside from a precious few spectacular skiers) and half the world’s oil, is going to “do great.” Doesn’t much matter if it’s social democratic or wahhabi shecikocratic. If you look at more typically endowed Sweden instead, thing’s aren’t nearly as rosy. Its not really any “worse” than here, but then again, Sweden isn’t really any “more socialistic” than here anymore, either.

Germany has benefited greatly from having been able to keep the bankster and other “asset appreciation” freeloadeing leeches nicely tucked away in London. Hence have remained a place where productive people haven’t had to drag those boat anchors around, to nearly the extent they have in most other Western countries since Nixon took the US, and with it the West, full retard. Which has left Germany unusually efficient at producing stuff. Hence able to hire, and pay, productive people accordingly. Kind of, although to a lesser degree, how the US economy worked pre Fed: Quickly improving efficiency at producing virtually anything, with the gains going to those who actually did the productive work. Rather than to a bunch of useless ambulance chasers, Fed welfare recipients, tax feeders and regulation riders, as is now the case.

If there has been a place where the outlook for the average guy has improved faster than in Somalia since they figured out the proper way to treat governments with the respect they are due, I’m not aware of one. It’s still Africa, certainly No Country for Soft White Men. But people are buying lots of stuff there. Cell phone penetration is high. Stores are stocked. Lots of guys own stuff (including guns. Even ones you can’t own in the Land of the once was somewhat Free. And ditto pharmaceuticals.) which noone did back when the Somalis, too, suffered under the idiocy called a government. And few do in African countries still stuck with the leeches. There’s obviously opportunities there, judging by the number of even 2nd generation (children of those who fled during the revolution) Somalis who are ditching their Uber jobs and heading back to the Old “Country.” Seemingly everyone has a cousin or uncle who can hook them up. Not really sure what they’re all doing, but then again, why should I be? I’m not there, detail studying the place on my own dime and, as the US Founders realized: The limited, enumerated powers of a legitimate government, does not extend to compiling mindless nonsense passed off as “economic statistics,” then use those as an excuse to “manage the economy”/meddle in the lives of, and rob and harass others.

But people aren’t fleeing, many are indeed returning, and one way or the other, people there are able to come up with hard currency to buy stuff from abroad. So, stuff is happening. And, and this is the important part: Things are increasingly happening. The place is growing in prosperity. Which is something Sweden and its ilk (including the US) is not.