Now that we have the September inflation reading, let’s take a look at real wage growth.
First of all, nominal average hourly wages in September increased +0.2%, while consumer prices were unchanged. As a result, after rounding, real average hourly wages for non-managerial personnel increased +0.1%. This translates into real wages of 97.7% of their all time high in January 1973:
On a YoY basis, real average wages were up +1.7%, still below their recent peak growth of 1.9% YoY in February:
Aggregate hours and payrolls improved sharply in the past several months, so real aggregate wages – the total amount of real pay taken home by the middle and working classes – are up 30% from their October 2009 trough at the beginning of this expansion:
For total wage growth, this expansion remains in third place, behind the 1960s and 1990s, among all post-World War 2 expansions; while the *pace* of wage growth has been the slowest except for the 2000s expansion.