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Real Hourly Wages Decline 9 Out of 11 Months This Year

Happy with your pay raise this year? Perhaps you shouldn't be.
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Real Hourly Wages 2021-11

Real Hourly Wages

Today the BLS released its CPI report for November. We calculate "real" hourly wages by subtracting the monthly rise in CPI from the monthly increase in wages.

  • All Private: Real wages fell in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, October, and November.
  • Production and Nonsupervisory: Real wages fell in January, February, March, April, May, June, October, and November.
  • All Private real wages are deflated using the CPI-U numbers.
  • Production and Nonsupervisory real wages are deflated using CPI-W numbers.

Hourly Wages vs Real Hourly Wages

Hourly Wages and Real Hourly Wages Percent Change 2021-11
  • All Private: Compare the dark blue to the light blue 
  • Production and Nonsupervisory: Compare the dark red with the orange

The lead chart shows whether the difference is positive or negative. 

CPI Month-Over-Month 

CPI Month-Over-Month 2021-11
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The above chart shows CPI-U numbers. 

Consumer Price Inflation 

For more on the latest CPI numbers, please see Inflation Hits a 39-Year High in November, the Biggest Rise Since 1982

If you think your wages are not keeping up with inflation, it's because they aren't. 

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