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Average Hourly Wages Rise Again

Still going up. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics hide caption

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The average hourly wage rose to $18.65 in August, from $18.59 in July. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the growth of 0.3 percent as part of its overall report on employment today. The jobless rate has risen to 9.7 percent, and economists expect it to continue climbing.

That compares to a 0.1 percent drop in disposable personal income — what's left over after taxes — reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for July. The BEA's numbers have been clouded by one-shot stimulus boosts to people on Social Security and veterans benefits.

In a longer view, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on July 31 that overall wages and benefits grew by 0.4 percent in the second quarter. For the year ending June 2009, wages grew by 1.8 percent.