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Despite Wage Increases, Real Hourly Pay Is Losing to Inflation

Wage pressures are increasing but wages are losing to inflation.
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CPI vs Hourly Pay Year-Over-Year Change 2021-05

For the second consecutive month, the year-over-year average hourly pay has lost to inflation.

Average Hourly Earnings of All Private Workers Minus CPI-U

Average Hourly Earnings Total Private Minus CPI-U

I created the above chart by taking the year-over-year increase in average hourly pay for all workers and subtracting the year-over year increase in the CPI.

Both seats of numbers are not seasonally adjusted. CPI-U is the official CPI,

Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Supervisory Workers 

Average Hourly EarningsProduction Minus CPI-W

The BLS has a separate set of stats for production and supervisory workers. Its CPI measure is CPI-W. 

I created the above chart by taking the year-over-year increase in average hourly pay for production and supervisory workers then subtracted the year-over year increase in the CPI-W.

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Net Losers

Both sets of workers are currently losing money to inflation. 

The Great Recession and Covid-19 spikes happened when the bottom rung of workers were laid off in recession, artificially inflating wages if you were working. 

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