Wednesday, July 31, 2013

GDP report: Real median wages highest in two years

- by New Deal democrat

As you recall, I have been studying and tracking real average and median wages and income. Earlier this month, the quarterly report on Usual Weekly Wages showed a significant increase in the 2nd quarter. This has now been joined by the Employment Cost Index, part of this morning's GDP release.

Here's a graph of the median wages as measured by the Employment Cost Index, deflated by the CPI, through the second quarter:

This past quarter saw a spike in the index. Real median wages are now positive YoY, and are at their highest level since the first quarter of 2011.

Remember, what we have seen is that real median wages have been positive or negative largely due to the increase or decrease in the price of gasoline. That price has gone generally sideways over the last couple of years, and real median wages have bottomed out and now, on both quarterly measures, have improved.

P.S. I haven't forgotten about following up with real median income. I hope to have an extensive post up on that next week.