Excluding the impact of the rebates and inflation, real disposable incomes were flat.
In other words, absent a one time stimulus from the Federal government, everything is not OK. That does not mean the checks aren't important because they did add to income for a certain period of time. But it's incredibly important to remember a one time event that is impacting the raw numbers. Over the next few months we'll see a return to non-stimulus numbers. And those probably won't be that good. Why you ask? How can someone get a raise when the job market is deteriorating?
Year over year job growth has been deteriorating for a long time, and
Unemployment is increasing.
This is not an environment where an employee can say, "I need a raise."