Still likely rising. We’re awaiting October CPI numbers, and October wages for accommodation and food services, but using nowcasts and extrapolations, we can show what real wages look like through October.
Figure 1: Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers in accommodation and food services, in $/hour, deflated by CPI (black), chained CPI, seasonally adjusted (teal), personal consumption expenditure deflator (red), CPI-wage earners and clerical (sky blue), and Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices, seasonally adjusted (pink), into 2020$. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Chained CPI and HICP seasonally adjusted by X-12/X-11 ARIMA. October observation on wages extrapolated from leisure and hospitality services average wage over 2021, using log first differences specification. Source: BLS, BEA, EU, NBER, and author’s calculations.