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"Hourly Pay in U.S. Not Keeping Pace With Price Rises"

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:46 PM
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"Hourly Pay in U.S. Not Keeping Pace With Price Rises"
The amount of money workers receive in their paychecks is failing to keep up with inflation. Though wages should recover if businesses continue to hire, three years of job losses have left a large worker surplus.

"There's too much slack in the labor market to generate any pressure on wage growth,'' said Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research institution based in Washington. "We are going to need a much lower unemployment rate.'' He noted that at 5.6 percent, the national unemployment rate is still back at the same level as at the end of the recession in November 2001.

Even though the economy has been adding hundreds of thousands of jobs almost every month this year, stagnant wages could put a dent in the prospects for economic growth, some economists say. If incomes continue to lag behind the increase in prices, it may hinder the ability of ordinary workers to spend money at a healthy clip, undermining one of the pillars of the expansion so far.

Declining wages are likely to play a prominent role in the current presidential campaign. Growing employment has lifted President Bush's job approval ratings on the economy of late. According to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, in mid-July, 42 percent of those polled approved of the president's handling of the economy, up from 38 percent in mid-March.
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mstrsplinter326 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:56 PM
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1. Real wages are about 25% less than they would be if matched with inflation
since the 50's... minimum wage, if adjusted to match inflation from 1950 on would be about double what it currently is.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:05 PM
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2. Funny, there was an angry, anti-increasing minimum wage LTTE
in yesterday's paper and I started gathering inform to write a 'counter-point'. Since 1968, domestic corporations' profits have risen by 64%, with the retail sector rising 158%. If wages had kept pace with productivity gains, the average hourly wage in the US would have been $24.56 in 2000 instead of $13.74! Buying power has declined a whooping 24%. Yet CEOs' salaries have risen 1100%!
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DieboldMustDie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:38 PM
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3. The U.S. minimum wage was at its highest in 1968 at $1.60 per hour.
Adjusted for inflation (see ) that would be $8.72 today. The current minimum of $5.15 represents a more than 40% decline. :grr:
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