The BLS informs us that Real Earnings Declined in December.

Real Wages All Employees

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  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.1 percent from November to December, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from an increase of 0.1 percent in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.2 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
  • Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.1 percent over the month due to the change in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek.
  • Real average hourly earnings increased 0.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from December 2018 to December 2019. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.6-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in essentially no change in real average weekly earnings over this period.

Real Wages Production and Supervisory Employees

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  • Real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased 0.2 percent from November to December, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from a 0.1-percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.3 percent in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
  • Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.2 percent over the month due to the decrease in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in average weekly hours.
  • From December 2018 to December 2019, real average hourly earnings increased 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.6-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 0.1-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.

Real Weekly Take-Home Pay

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  • Real weekly take-home pay was flat year-over-year for all employees.
  • Real weekly take-home pay fell year-over-year for production and supervisory workers.

Revisions

I commented on the December BLS revision in Revision Surprise: Wage Growth Negative For Production Workers.

Today's CPI report shows the damage.

How Bad Is It?

Those allegedly "real" wages are not very real. Ask anyone buying their own medical insurance or anyone looking to buy a home how far behind they are falling.

For discussion, please see Medical Care Costs Soaring Out of Control

The average Joe is actually getting hammered.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Real Wages Decline Year-Over-Year

Wages are not keeping up with consumer price inflation. The average worker is worse off than a year ago.

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.

Real Earnings Have Gone Nowhere For a Full Year

Real hourly wages have risen but average hours worked fell. The combination leaves the average worker no better off.

Real Hourly Earnings Decline YoY for Production Workers, Flat for All Employees

Today's CPI report that shows inflation rose only 0.1%. Real wages are not keeping up even with that.

Real Hourly Earnings Scorecards: Employees Making Way Less Than 9 Months Ago

Hourly wages, in real terms, have been on the decline for nine months.

Congratulations Workers, You Now Make 0.5% More Than a Year Ago

In real (inflation-adjusted) terms workers make 0.5% more than a year ago, assuming one believes the CPI.

Real Hourly Earnings: Assuming You Believe the CPI

In the past year, real wages rose eight months, fell once, and were flat three times.

National Average Rents Up 2.5% From Year Ago

Looking for inflation? One place you can find it is in national rent averages.

Revision Surprise: Wage Growth Negative For Production Workers

The BLS reported hourly earnings for production workers rose in Dec. Discounting huge negative revisions, wages fell.