Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Bad News About The US Economy

Economist Jared Bernstein has this post up at TPM Cafe. It's well worth reading. Here's the first few paragraphs:

Based on inflation data released this morning, a combination of slower wage growth and faster price growth has led to falling real hourly and weekly earnings for most workers.

The Figure shows the yearly change in real earnings for the approximately 80% of the workforce that are non-managers in services or blue-collar factory workers. After handily beating inflation last year, wage growth began to slow as the economy lost speed in the last quarter of 2007. A year ago, annual hourly wage growth before inflation was 4.3%; this year—Jan07-Jan08—it was 3.7%.

Inflation, conversely, driven up by higher energy prices, is growing about twice as fast as was the case one year ago.

Bernstein is the very same economist quoted by McClatchy News in Monday's story about chronic unemployment that I referenced in A Closer Look At Bush's BS Job Stats... yesterday.