Real Wages Over the Past Five Years

Jared Bernstein charts the yearly change in real earnings for the approximately 80% of the workforce that are non-managers in services and blue-collar factory workers for each month from January 2007 to January 2008. For a while real wages grew but then their growth rate turned negative. I decided to chart this real wage (nominal wage divided by CPI with base year = 1982) from January 2003 to January 2008. A lot of noise but notice something – the real wage last month was the same as the real wage five years ago.