The booming U.S. economy might be benefitting shareholders, CEOs, and other stakeholders but it’s doing little to help the average American. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that hourly earnings fell by 0.4 percent from July 2017 through July 2018.
The BLS numbers reflect seasonal differences and the cost of rising prices which tend to have a bigger effect on low-wage earners.
Sadly, wage decreased occurred despite an increase in the number of work week hours being completed by hourly wage earners. In total, average weekly earnings for Americans were down 0.1 percent.
In July, hour wages remained flat while weekly earnings decreased by 0.2 percent.
The Washington Post on June 15 reported the following troubling trend from the BLS:
“For workers in “production and nonsupervisory” positions, the value of the average paycheck has declined in the past year. For those workers, average “real wages” — a measure of pay that takes inflation into account — fell from $22.62 in May 2017 to $22.59 in May 2018.”
Wages are failing to catch up to an economy that grew by 4.2 percent in the second quarter while unemployment fell below 4 percent in July.
With a competitive job market, employees should be able to seek out higher paying roles, something that is simply not occurring at this time.
Typically, a thriving economy would help the political party in control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives but that may not be the case in November 2018.
Buyers could soon feel the pinch as the cash register at a quickly increasing rate as Donald Trump’s ill-advised tariffs continue to place pressure on product suppliers to increase their cost of goods to make up for tariffs placed on steel and aluminum.