Wages Stagnant Again.

Another month passes, another set of figures show no rise in real wages. Figures out today from the Bureua of Labor Statistics show that real average weekly earning fell in July. Or, to put it much more tediously and longwindedly:

Real average weekly earnings decreased by 0.1 percent from June to July after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. A 0.4 percent increase in average hourly earnings was more than offset by a 0.5 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Average weekly hours were unchanged. (PDF)

This is not great news. Wage growth seemed to be picking up in two out of the last three months. Given that yesterday's mild CPI figures seemed to show a slowing in price rises, it might have been hoped that robust wage growth and slowing prices might translate into real wage growth. Instead, we're now 6 for 12: six out of the past twelve monthly statements have shown weekly earnings declining in real terms. With growing concerns about the state of the economy, most apocalyptically from economist Nouriel Roubini, we wonder again if this economic cycle will see no rise in real wages at all.