Real Wages through July

Reader JohnH notes that real wages year-on-year have fallen in July, as reported in the real earnings report. In times of big movements in variables, I find it useful to look at the actual time series.

If one examines average hourly earnings in the private economy, not holding composition constant (and either including or excluding supervisory and nonproduction workers), then in fact the real wages looks high, but are declining through July.

Figure 1: Average hourly earnings for total private industry ex-nonproduction and supervisory workers, deflated by CPI-all (black), 2016-19 stochastic trend  (red), earnings for total private industry (blue), all in 1982-84$. Percent numbers indicate change relative to 2020M02. Source: BLS via FRED, and author’s calculations. 

Update, 2:40pm Pacific:

The level of the real wage is sensitive to the deflator. In Figure 2, I present some of these alternative real wage calculations.

Figure 2: CPI deflated average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers (black), not seasonally adjusted Chain CPI deflated (teal), personal consumption expenditure price index deflated (red), and PCE price index deflated using Cleveland Fed nowcast for July (red square), all in logs 2020M02=0. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS via FRED, Cleveland Fed (accessed 8/13), NBER and author’s calculations.

For a discussion of composition effects and alternative measures of compensation, see this post regarding real wages in June.






73 thoughts on “Real Wages through July

  1. JohnH

    In fairness to Krugman, he wrote a great piece on wages last November:

    “Raising the wages of American workers ought to be the priority of economic policymakers and the measure of economic performance under the Biden administration. We’d all be better off paying less attention to quarterly updates on the growth of the nation’s gross domestic product and focusing instead on the growth of workers’ paychecks….

    Consumption drives the American economy, and workers who are paid more can spend more. The rich spend a smaller share of what they earn, and though they lend to the poor, the overall result is still less spending and consumption.

    For decades, mainstream economists insisted that it was impossible to order up a sustainable increase in wages because compensation levels reflected the unerring judgment of market forces…

    The importance of rewriting our stories about the way that the economy works is that they frame our policy debates. Our beliefs about economics determine what seems viable and worthwhile — and whether new ideas can muster support.

    Preaching the value of higher wages is a necessary first step toward concrete changes in public policy that can begin to shift economic power.”

    Let’s hope he will put his advice into practice on a regular basis

    1. pgl

      There was another JohnH who told us Krugman never writes on these matters. Could you call that liar up and telling him to stop embarrassing you?

      1. JohnH

        I only wish that Krugman had taken his own advice and talked about wages and earnings, not just growing the economy.

          1. pgl

            I bet he did not talk about monopoly power or transfer pricing abuse. I bet he did not cover Cuomo’s sexual harassment issues either. So by your stupid standard, Krugman endorses all three. Of course the NYTimes wants opeds to be limited to 800 words so it is kind of difficult to cover everything including the kitchen sink.

            We have been over this before. Stop making such incredibly dumb comments.

          2. pgl


            Krugman provides links to all of his NYTimes pieces including the one from August 13 which covered shipping costs and the price of used car. Now why one would mention US real wages in a discussion of shipping costs? One wouldn’t but according to JohnH not doing so makes Krugman a corporate sellout.

            Folks – I warned you a while back he was going to do this. He did it to Economist View and now he has decided to take this intellectual garbage here. Get used to it.

          3. pgl

            “JohnH August 14, 2021 at 4:32 pm
            Pgl is right.”

            Which is followed by your usual intellectual garbage. Yea I am right but my message is that you lie like a rug. So you continue to lie? Pathetic.

          4. pgl

            Thanks for the Mallaby piece even though you totally misrepresented what he was saying (surprise, surprise). Mallaby was noting that Krugman has been a very effective advocate of progressive causes but of course a lying troll like you paints Krugman as being shifty about the facts to push a free market agenda. Try reading this piece SLOWLY and carefully before you dishonestly claim he is supporting your incessant intellectual garbage.

          1. Dr. Dysmalist

            “[Krugman]’s written plenty about wages and earnings over the years.”

            But if it isn’t exactly when they want, in exactly the outlets they want, and doesn’t use exactly the words they want, any such writings do not count to performative “leftists” like Johnny.

            That’s what passes for context in their world. They are like that in many places on the interwebtubes.

          2. JohnH

            Pgl is right. Krugman has two personas. One is the academic, whose work is found in textbooks and obscure journals. The other I s the polemic partisan found in the widely read NY Times, who ignores and glosses over inconvenient facts prejudicial to his agenda.

            There may be more than two personas, like the one who emphasised that economists focus on wages, not economic growth in the NYTimes Magazine and a second who wrote this week, emphasising economic growth and forgetting about workers and wages. It’s as if he employs ghost writers who don’t keep track of what he’s written before and confuse his priorities.

            I focus on his NY Times pieces because those are by far his widest read and probably the outlet for greatest impact on policy.

            I already documented Krugman’s advice to Dani Rodrik to tone down his questions about globalisation. Sebastian Mallaby, the Volcker senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted that “Krugman has concluded that politically neutral truth telling is not merely impossible. It is morally inadequate.” And so, “ Krugman should surely be the first to admit that his journalism, like his research, is founded on radical simplification. Like those economic models that assume people are perfectly rational, he presumes that his adversaries are perfectly corruptible. This is elegantly clarifying. But, to borrow one of Krugman’s own phrases, it may mistake beauty for truth.”

            As for me, when I approach a Krugman column I prepare myself to read a polemicist who is selectively using only those points that will help him win the debate, setting aside any information that might give comfort to the barbarians or divulge unsupportive information. I find reading Krugman’s NY Times pieces like listening to the pitch from a used car salesman, who knows much more than he will tell you.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            Well, JohnH, this link does argue that Krugman does not give enough credit to those he disagrees with, but it also documents him talking a lot about inequality and against policies that help the rich, which pretty much completely undercuts your big point that you constantliy go on about regarding him, namely your false claim that he ignores income distribution and income inequality.

            Looks like you are doing your own imitation of the worst side of Krugman. How totally unsurprising.

  2. pgl

    He also claimed no one is writing about real wages during the pandemic. After that comment, however, note the link I provide to the what the Biden CEA published on this issue. An excellent discussion. Of course it was not on the front pages of the NYTimes so to JohnH will likely say that does not count.

  3. macroduck

    The recent decline is very likely due to the composition of employment gains. Food servers and hotel workers and warehouse workers earn below the average hourly wage, so whhen thy make up a large share of new hours, the average drops. Johnny is blaming Democrats for a decline in real earnings that is caused by the pandemic, through supply shortages, and rby recovery from the worst of the pandemic (so far), through improved hiring.

    Or maybe Johnny will fall back to saying “lots of people” blame Democrats for declining real wages, even if that blame is misplaced. Because Johnny knows “lots of people” — that’s just empirical.

    1. JohnH

      Let’s face it, macroduck, Democrats have a pretty pathetic story to tell when it comes to earnings. In eight years of Obama’s benign neglect Median usual weekly real earnings rose 2.6%. In Trump’s 3 pre-pandemic years they rose 3.7%.

      Krugman’s right. Democrats and economists need to focus more on wages, less on GDP, which is largely a measure of how the affluent are doing, since they are the ones to walk away with most of the nation’s income every year.

      Given their performance under Obama, Democrats have a lot of work to do. Ignoring workers loss of purchasing power is not a good way to start.

      1. pgl

        “Given their performance under Obama, Democrats have a lot of work to do. Ignoring workers loss of purchasing power is not a good way to start.”

        Of course inflation was low under Obama. One could argue he should have done more to boost aggregate demand (after all killing Senator Turtle should be Constitutional) but then gold bugs like you would have whined about rising inflation even if real wages rose. That is what happened under Bill Clinton but then you bash him too.

        It must be hard being pretend progressive while being a gold bug too!

      2. macroduck

        I seem to recall you trying to sell this story once before. So, once again, let me school you on how economic cycles work.

        Labor markets tighten as economic cycles mature. Obama inherited a recession, so the labor market was not very tight at the beginning of his term. It tightened through all but the very early months of his eight years in office. The joblees rate peaked wt aound 10% in the first year of his term and fell to around 4.7% by the end. Trump inherited a mature expansion, with the unemployment rate already at 4.7% when he was inaugurated. That’s why wafe gains were slower under Obama than under Trump.

        The wildly dishonest part about you bringing this up again is that you already acknowledged this in a prior set of comments, but now you’re pretending you didn’t.

        For innocent by-standers, here’s what’s going on. Johnny is actually not in a discussion with me. If he were, he wouldn’t have trotted out a claim which I had already debunked and which he had already conceded on. No, Johnny is trying to sell a story to anyone who might be a casual reader of blog comments. He knows he can’t persuade me with this disingenuous argument. He already had a go at it and got whupped. No, he’s hoping some of you may not recognize his point as snake oil.

        Now, Johnny’s fallback position is to claim that he’s talking about public feeling, not economics. He’s been claiming that “lots of people” feel that Obama was indifferent to their economic suffering, and feel that Trump actually sympathized with them. I guess that’s why Obama’s voter approval rating was something like 53.7% when he left office, vs 38.6% for Trump.

        And note the rhetorical trickery our Johnny employs. Here’s a really insidious example: “Ignoring workers loss of purchasing power is not a good way to start.” In courtroom TV jargon, Johnny has “assumed facts not in evidence”. He asserts that Democrats are ignoring workers’ loss of purchasing power with no proof. What’s the truth o the matter? Democrats wanted a minumim wage increase but couldn’t get past Senate Republicans filibuster. Johhny is lying to you about Democrats. He’s lying because his Republican masters can’t win elections if voters have a clear understanding of what each party stands for. Johnny is a GOP blog lackey, make no mistake.

        Here’s the deal — Johhny is pretending to want what Democrats want, but to be ssssoooooo disheartened by the Democrats’ lack of an economic agenda, or their inability to model empathy in a Fox News sort of way or whatever. In reality, he’d like it if a wedge could be shoved between Democrats so tha Democratic voters would not bother to vote. That way, the Republican Party, who’s agenda is at odds with the preferences and the welfare of most Americans, can hope to once again rule as a minority party.

        1. JohnH

          As I’ve said before, Obama had two choices: a) he could have cited the lousy job market, repeatedly empathise with workers’ plight, formulate an aggressive, expansionary program to boost job growth and hopefully wages, and credibly lay the blame on Republicans when they sabotaged it, or b) buy Into Republicans’ phony austerity and basically ignore the plight of workers. Obama chose the latter, which yielded anaemic growth until Obama’s final year. And, yes, Trump feasted at the table Obama set for him and added a round of economic stimulus, making for gains in real median wages and in real median household incomes that were unheard of during the lost Obama years.

          If you doubt this, just look at what Biden did with bare majorities in each house. Biden chose option a), a total repudiation of Obama’s mediocre performance. Unfortunately, the budget hawk gene is deeply engrained the the Democratic leadership’s corrupt, sclerotic, octogenarian DNA, so it’s probably only a matter of time before Pelosi and Schumer rediscover their inner budget hawk.

      3. pgl

        “I already documented Krugman’s advice to Dani Rodrik to tone down his questions about globalisation.” = JohnH

        This sounded like JohnH’s usual BS especially since he linked to nothing. But Rodrik noted what Krugman had said here:

        Funny thing – Rodrik strongly endorsed what Krugman had written. Of course Rodrik choose to tear into uber free trader Greg Mankiw.

        Once again – JohnH totally misrepresents what Krugman and even Rodrik have said in the past. This is all he dpoes 24/7. Lie like a damn rug.

  4. Barkley Rosser

    It may be that this data corrects for this, but lots of reports said that when the pandemic hit there was a disproportionate rate of low wage layoffs, which would tend to raise the average real wage. As the recovery has proceeded, those low wage workers have been getting rehired, thus tending to pull that average back down again.

    Of course, this is just the opposite of what JohnH has suggested, that somehow recent policy has been bad for the poor. No, they got hit hard in the pandemic, getting laid off in disproportionate numbers. But now they are being rehired, thus improving their situation, even as this tends to generate the datum that has JohnH all worked up, the decline in average real wages.

      1. JohnH

        Thanks, pgl. The report clearly stated that average wage growth could turn negative this year 1Q21 usual weekly earnings were only 1.6% above Trump’s 1Q20. And inflation could easily drive the figure well below Trump’s number.

        Democrats had better prepare themselves to follow Krugman’s advice: talk about wages. Time has finally caught up with Democrats and the need for a coherent, worker-centered message, however much pgl wants to avoid the reckoning.

        1. pgl

          You actually READ this? OK – you now know how this undermines your previous rant. Not that I’m expecting you to admit as much!

          Note Biden’s CEA is packed with economists who get labor markets. I expect a lot more from them and their boss. Not that Mitch McConnell will give a damn.

    1. pgl

      See the CEA paper I linked to as it is an excellent discussion of these issues.

      As far as JohnH – he is not being paid to be honest. Mitch McConnell hates good economic analysis.

  5. Moses Herzog

    @ JohnH That’s a pretty kind, soft-gloves version of correction/edification from some posts Menzie has done highlighting commenters’ thoughts. I would take it like your kind Uncle telling you to make sure you change the oil and filter on your car regularly or before taking a long road trip. A lot of Economists are compassionate/considerate people who care about the world and well-being of the society around them. If you can “take away” anything from this blog (of many things to be learned here), my hope is you will take that.

  6. joseph

    “not holding composition constant”

    That’s a big if. We probably won’t know the real trend until a while later when employment has returned to normal.

  7. JohnH

    Inflation is going to whack workers who are at minimum wage or near it, except in a few states that indexed it to inflation. Yes, many are working again, but their real wages are dropping.

    Interesting that real wages are still 7% below the peak reached under Nixon but 25% above the bottom reached under Clinton.

    Democrats have a long, long way to go before they will sound credible to workers who voted for Trump. They could start by being honest about inflation…addressing real purchasing power loss, talking about how to claw productivity gains away from capital, and how to assuring them that employers don’t get away with increasing prices faster than wages.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      JohnH: So, I hope you acknowledge that real wages are now higher than they were at NBER peak, and that this is true for a number of deflators.

      1. pgl

        Back in the Cameron days, UK real wages took a huge dip and then partially went back. Back then JohnH ignored the huge dip and kept praising the short period of rising real wages. On this one it is the mirror image – a huge increase followed by a partial retreat. JohnH focused on the latter but maybe just maybe he will acknowledge what you have noted. But I’m not holding my breath.

      2. JohnH

        Sure, I can acknowledge the NBER number and acknowledge that it’s a good number. There are other good numbers, too.

        The real question is whether real earnings can remain above Trump’s number, particularly if employers refuse to increase wages that reflect inflation.

        I have my doubts. And I seriously doubt that Democrats will have an epiphany and suddenly start talking about wages, leaving the issue of purchasing power for Republicans to run (disingenuously) with.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          JohnH: It’s not an NBER number. I just gave you the real wage relative to 2020M02, which happens to be NBER peak. You can pick 2020M03 which when lockdowns were first implemented. Or you can pick 2020M01 when China shut down. In any of these cases, real wages are higher.

          1. pgl

            One would think JohnH would know the source of this data was BLS since he linked to a table that showed the change in real wages over the course of the last 12 months. Now you did that hard work and showed the same series over a long period of time (ltr did too). And now JohnH is claiming you had to go to a different data source? Wow – the level of stupidity is staggering!

        2. pgl

          “There are other good numbers, too.”

          And Mitch McConnell has hired Kelly “alternative facts” Conway to feed you a steady diet for your absurd comments.

        3. Dr. Dysmalist

          “There are other good numbers, too.”

          Johnny has ‘lots of numbers, all the best numbers’ just like Trump, used with the same accuracy, precision, and proper context as Trump does.

    2. pgl

      You have a long long way to go to be evenly remotely honest on this or any other topic. Until you at least TRY to be remotely honest – maybe lecturing others should be avoided.

    3. macroduck

      Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, there you go again. Workers who voted for Trump are not an honest measure of Democrats’ policy efforts. It is generally recognized that the voting pukic is more partisan now than in much of the 20th century. Setting up approval from any subset of Trump voters as a test of Democrat goodness is nonsensical. It’s just one of your slimy ways of saying “Democrats BAAADD!!!”

      How much are the Koch boys paying you to sully yourself?

      1. macroduck

        Not to mention the that Johnny has been really sneaky in his use of source material. The series Johnny uses to say “Democrats BAADD” is not an official government data series. It is, rather, a series created by a private analyst from government data, a series the author calls “hypothetical”. Why has Johnny picked a non-standard data series to make his case against Democrats? Probably because he couldn’t find an official series that would support his claim.

        But never mind that. Let Johnny have hs cherry-picked non-standard data series. What conclusion does the creator of that series reach? This one:

        “We will point out that the so-called supply-side economics popularized during the Reagan administration (aka “trickle-down” economics), wasn’t very friendly to production and nonsupervisory employees.”

        Democrats bad? No. Republicans bad!

        Somehow, Johnny neglected to tell us that. Oh, my! Johnny isn’t very honest in his use of source material, is he?

        1. pgl

          JohnH has been at this dishonesty for many years. Just ask anyone who followed Mark Thoma’s blog.

        2. pgl

          I never had a problem with this provider of data. My problem – as you ably note – is how JohnH misrepresents what his own preferred source has said. You get it – JohnH lies almost as much as Trump.

    4. Barkley Rosser

      No, JohnH, it is not the case that the real wages of workers are declining. What is happening is that workers are getting rehired who were previously laid off who earn lower wages than the already working workers. Those workers are not seeing their real wages declining. Sorry, you are wrong here, or at least seriously misleading.

  8. pgl

    Remember how Mitch McConnell and 42 other cowardly Senators decided not to convict impeached (for a 2nd time) Donald Trump because he was no longer President? De juva – the NY State Assembly has decided not to impeach Randy Andy because he resigned. Cowardice or corruption? I vote both.

    Some lament Cuomo will not have a home. Yes he will – Maro Lago where he and Trump can gloat over who is the biggest pig.

  9. pgl

    Kevin Drum notes something else about the labor market – more firms are requiring Covid-19 vaccinations:

    While most of us will applaud this, I’m sure Princeton Steve will find a way to say this hurts the recovery. After all – he was really mad when the inward shift of the labor curve at the height of the pandemic made it harder for firms to attract workers without raising real wages.

    1. joseph

      According to the graph that’s about 1 in a thousand, of job postings requiring vaccination. I guess it’s a start but nothing to get too excited about yet.

      By comparison the weekly case infection rate is 3 in a thousand. So for a weird statistic, you are three times as likely to catch covid in the next week than to find a job that requires vaccination.

  10. JohnH

    One of the problems with using average hourly earnings as a measure of the average worker’s wellbeing is that the median wage as a percent of the average wage has been dropping. In the 1990s it was around 70%. In the last decade it was 65% as wages for the highly compensated rose faster than those of more poorly compensated.

    Using SSA median net compensation numbers and BLS inflation calculator, I found that median net compensation grew .016% per year under Obama, 1.959% per year for Trump’s first three years.

    Talk about wage stagnation during the Obama years. Talk about the average worker not getting ahead!

    It would be interesting to apply the average/median ratio to the BLS average hourly wages and see how real median hourly wages are doing.

    1. pgl

      Wait – you told us real wages fell under Obama. Time for Kelly Anne Conway to get busy and find some new alternative facts for you.

      1. JohnH

        Maureen Dowd has the ultimate takedown of Obama, who now seems to showing pretensions of being a latter day Great Gatsby, hobnobbing with the1%.

        “ As president, he didn’t try hard enough on things we needed. He was a diffident debutante with a distaste for politics. Post-presidency, he is trying too hard on things we don’t need.”

        If you want one number to summarise Obama’s performance, it’s that he grew real median net compensation by .016% per year from the depths of the Great Recession. Worse, neither he nor Hillary could effectively feel workers’ pain. Totally pathetic!

        1. macroduck

          See, here you are, choosing nutso measures again, because more conventional measures don’t suit your agenda. Who are you to say which is “the one number to summarize Obama’s performance”? A guy with a lie to sell. Here are a few other facts an honest person might want to consider:

          U.S. employment rose by 11.6 million during Obama’s presidency.

          The unemployment rate fell from 10% to 4.7%.

          The number of people without health insurance fell by 15 million.

          Health insurance premiums rose more slowly.

          The violent crime rate fell by 16%.

          Illegal border crossings fell.

          Wind and solar power generation rose by 369%.

          Carbon dioxide emissions fell 11%.

          Now, you may argue that other factors were at work in these improvements than just Obama, but you have no right to make such an argument. No right, because you wrote “he grew real median net compensation by .016% per year”. First, nobody “grows” compensation. It ain’t a tulip. Second, presidents don’t set wages. Third, when you have three modifiers between before you get around to the noun, your just grasping at straws.

          Anybody wonder why Johnny has the time to pollute this comment section so frequently? He isn’t just passing the time making lame arguments. He is a partisan. And not the left-of-center partisan he pretends to be. He’s a right-wing troll pretending to be a fan of workers so he can spread disaffection among voters while Democrats are in power. That’s why he ignores job gains under Biden. That’s why he insists one judging Obama by one measure of economic performance, a measure over which Obama had almost no direct control. Johnny is a right-wing hack in lefty clothing, dishonest as the day is long.

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ macroduck Try to look at the bright side, JohnH annoys the hell out of pgl. I mean, really, how bad could that be for him to become a fixture on this blog??

          2. pgl

            “Moses Herzog
            August 14, 2021 at 9:50 pm
            @ macroduck Try to look at the bright side, JohnH annoys the hell out of pgl.”

            Well yea – blatant dishonesty does annoy me. You of course are the most dishonest troll here which is why you like JohnH the serial liar.

          3. Moses Herzog

            @ pgl
            Hey, cheer up. I have some good news for you. Andrew Cuomo is having a “farewell party” at the office tonight and the ratio of women to men invited is roughly 30-to-1. This may be your best chance for sex this entire decade.

    2. JohnH

      The Social Security data makes it clear that using average weekly earnings is a deeply flawed indicator of how the average American worker is doing.

      As the Social Security site says, “ An average is just one measure of central tendency for any set of data. Another measure is a median. For our wage data, the median wage (or net compensation) is the wage “in the middle.” That is, half of the workers earned below this level. The table below shows that the median wage is substantially less than the average wage. The reason for the difference is that the distribution of workers by wage level is highly skewed.”

      The Social Security data makes it that the average worker made only $34,248…about $17 per hour. Half of American workers made less.

      If we were to apply the Social Security average/median factor to the BLS average hourly wage number($30.54), we would get a median hourly wage of $20.16. And to think that this pathetic figure will only drop as more low wage workers are employed and get counted.

      The well being of the American workforce is not good. Yet Democratic candidates, whose base increasingly represents affluent, professional city dwellers, are aloof and uncaring enough to call these folks deplorables.

      Krugman is right when he states that “ We’d all be better off paying less attention to quarterly updates on the growth of the nation’s gross domestic product and focusing instead on the growth of workers’ paychecks.”

      And economists and politicians could start by focusing on median wages, not average wages which paint an overly rosy picture of how the workforce is faring.

      1. macroduck

        Y’all should be aware that JohmH is telling some whoppers here.

        John lies when he says Democrats call “the workforce” deplorables. Hillary Clinton once did. She is not “candidates.

        John lies with numbers when he claims median hourly compensation is $17 per hour. That would be close to true if the average work week were close to 40 hours. The average work week was just under 35 hours in the latest reading. He lies with numbers again when he uses his bogus hourly compensation number to estimate a median houly wage. The site he links to warns against making such comparisons but he ignores that warning. That’s the second time this week i’ve caught JohnH misrepresenting his source material. He doesn’t care what the source material says. He’s pretending to be in a conversation with people who make fact-based arguments, when he is actually using smear tactics against the only major political party with any cncern for the poor and the working class — Democrats. They ain’t great, but the are much, much, much more concerned for the well-being off workers than are Republicans.

        JohnH lies because he is a partisan hack. His political masters want voters to think Democrats don’t care for the poor and the working class because his political masters actually don’t care for the poor and the working class. This is “Big Lie” stuff, right before your eyes.

        1. macroduck

          By the way, median hourly wage data are publish and easily available. JohnH, by going through his nonsensical math gyrations, was off by nearly $5. Funny thing is, the actual number is in JohnH’s favor. He believes his own argument so little that he didn’t even bother to check the facts. He just made something up because hacks don’t do facts.

          Know what else? JohnH wants you to believe it is Democrats who are to blame for holding workers’incomes down, but when you compare incomes across state by the party that state mostly votes for, there is a clear pattern. Incomes are higher where Democrats make the rules:

          Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, when ya gonna stop lying?

      2. pgl

        ‘The Social Security data makes it clear that using average weekly earnings is a deeply flawed indicator of how the average American worker is doing.’

        They say it is one indicator. They did not say it is deeply flawed. But go ahead and man splain to us what Kelly Anne Conway wants us to believe. Look – we have had more than enough of your intellectual garbage.

    3. pgl

      Gee new post from Menzie showing how badly you have misrepresented this too. They should call you butter as you are on a roll.


    Real wages were distorted in several directions by the lockdowns. Then in the disinflation of 2022, real wages pop again as yry declines cause it to bump back up. A very real threat to inflation next year is overproduction.

    Maybe, people are ready to move on from Covid. Maybe the Trump Administration(much more than brain plagued Donald) should have actually worked on a plan for mitigation in March of 2020?? Thus no lockdowns in general. I frankly would not have tolerated them as President and would have gotten proper masks built and distributed. Set up triage centers for future outbreaks. This would have mitigated its effect on data helping John understand his failings.

    1. MOses Herzog

      Another heart-warming story about Republican “family values”, and oddly, in a story about minors being sex-trafficked, Alan Dershowitz’ name magically appears. What are the odds on that??

      Anyone notice the odd media protocol that every time there’s a negative story about Republicans, they use the acronym “GOP”, but if they think it’s flattering they always say Republican?? In a nation where half the population can barely spell their own last name, I wonder why they would insist on doing that???

      Well, Alan Dershowitz has never met Lazzaro, and even if he had, he always kept his underwear on.

  12. ltr

    August 14, 2021

    Over 1.84 bln doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in China

    BEIJING — Over 1.84 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in China by Friday, the National Health Commission said Saturday.

    [ Chinese coronavirus vaccine yearly production capacity is more than 5 billion doses. Along with over 1.844 billion doses of Chinese vaccines administered domestically, another 800 million doses have been distributed internationally. A number of countries are now producing Chinese vaccines from delivered raw materials. ]

    1. ltr

      August 14, 2021

      Chinese mainland reports 66 new COVID-19 cases

      The Chinese mainland recorded 66 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, with 30 being local transmissions and 36 from overseas, the latest data from the National Health Commission showed on Saturday.

      In addition, 19 new asymptomatic cases were recorded, while 487 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

      This brings the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland to 94,326, with the death toll unchanged at 4,636.

      Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

      Chinese mainland new imported cases

      Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

  13. ltr

    August 13, 2021

    Cheap Talk from the Fed on Global Warming?

    During the first decade of this century I was one of the few economists in the country to warn of the housing bubble and the likelihood that its collapse would lead to a serious recession. It was easy to see that the housing market was in a bubble, and that when the bubble burst it would lead to plunges in both residential construction and consumption, which was booming thanks to bubble generated housing wealth.

    My favorite remedy for the bubble was talk, or more specifically, talk from Alan Greenspan and other top Federal Reserve officials, about research documenting the housing bubble. The point I tried to make in those years was that the hard data showed we had a bubble. It wasn’t an issue of crystal ball reading….

    1. ltr

      August, 2021

      Growth at Risk From Climate Change
      By Michael T. Kiley


      How will climate change affect risks to economic activity? Research on climate impacts has tended to focus on effects on the average level of economic growth. I examine whether climate change may make severe contractions in economic activity more likely using quantile regressions linking growth to temperature. The effects of temperature on downside risks to economic growth are large and robust across specifications. These results suggest the growth at risk from climate change is large—climate change may make economic contractions more likely and severe and thereby significantly impact economic and financial stability and welfare. *


      [ Chinese monetary authorities are repeatedly “talking” about climate change, and favoring green lending and investment. ]

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Uh oh, ltr, you will have JohnH after you. How dare you talk about economic growth rather than about wages!? Shame on you!!!

      2. ltr

        August 2, 2021

        China’s green loan expansion picks up speed in the first half of 2021

        The balance of China’s green loans in local and foreign currencies stood at 13.92 trillion yuan ($2.15 trillion) at the end of June, up 26.5 percent year on year, the country’s central bank data showed….

        Green finance was set as a priority for China’s central bank this year. The bank earlier estimated that China will need to invest 2.2 trillion yuan in carbon emission reduction every year before 2030 and an annual 3.9 trillion yuan worth of investment from 2030 to 2060.

    2. ltr

      Dean Baker has written what I consider an especially important policy paper for the Federal Reserve, a proposal that the Fed expressly encourage green lending and investing. Michael Kiley of the Fed, offers precisely the rational necessary. The direction here is that of the Bank of China, and the effects of green lending for large and especially small investments in China are dramatic.

  14. Edward Charles Kokkelenberg

    Why o why are their so many attacks on what some one wrote or did not write this week, or attacks on people.
    Keep this to economics and the state of the economy.

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