Hourly Wages Rise A Bit After Two Months Of Being Flat : Planet Money In July, hourly earnings ticked up, ending a two-month stretch of stagnation. The overall picture for wages remains cloudy, with various official indicators conflicting.
NPR logo Hourly Wages Rise A Bit After Two Months Of Being Flat

Hourly Wages Rise A Bit After Two Months Of Being Flat

Going up again. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics hide caption

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

As the unemployment rate has risen, wages have all but stagnated. By contrast, today's unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds hourly wages rising in July to $18.56 from $18.53 for June and May.

The overall picture for wages remains cloudy. Compare the small increase reported today with official indicators of income. This week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis found that personal income notched a fourth straight monthly decline in June with a fall of .4 percent. The BEA said the increase may have stemmed in part from a one-time stimulus boost to Social Security recipients the month before.

And Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on July 31 that overall wages and benefits grew by .4 percent in the second quarter. For the year ending June 2009, wages grew by just 1.8 percent.

Charts:Overall Unemployment/ Duration of Unemployment/ Average Workweek