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progree

progree's Journal
progree's Journal
October 31, 2023

GRAPH: ECI - Employment Cost Index: 2018-Q1 thru 2023-Q3

The Employment Cost Index as it is said to be a much better indicator of wages and compensation than the usual go-to metric of average hourly earnings that comes out on first Fridays (usually). The ECI is said to looks at trends in the same occupations, whereas average hourly earnings gets distorted by job losses or gains occurring in certain sectors more than others; last hired first fired stuff (in the pandemic that caused the averages to soar). Whatever. I'm saying this off the top of my head, there are better explanations out there.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/eci.nr0.htm

Their table shows the 12 month INFLATION-ADJUSTED number is +0.6%. At a glance I don't see their inflation-adjusted 3 month number anywhere.

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From: https://www.piie.com/blogs/realtime-economic-issues-watch/us-wages-grew-fastest-pace-decades-2021-prices-grew-even-more

The BLS releases ECI statistics, showing compensation, wage, and benefit growth over the prior three months, four times a year. The ECI shows changes in wages and benefits in a manner that fixes the composition of the workforce. This is important, particularly when there are large changes in employment, because these data are not subject to the same distortions as the monthly average hourly earnings series, which can artificially be increased when low-wage workers lose their jobs and drop out of the sample (as happened in 2020) or artificially be decreased when these same workers are hired back (as happened in 2021) [1].

By fixing workforce composition, the ECI provides a more accurate picture of what is actually happening to wages.


[1] The Pandemic’s Effect on Measured Wage Growth, The WHite House, 4/19/21
https://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/written-materials/2021/04/19/the-pandemics-effect-on-measured-wage-growth/

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This particular one is INFLATION-ADJUSTED wage and salaries for private sector workers.

Note the build-up to the Q2.2020 peak. Then it plateaued through Q1.2021, President Biden's first quarter, then went down.
Finally it has been turning up since a local bottom in Q3.2022 for four quarters.

The last reading (103.2) is 3.1% below the peak, and 2.9% below the Q1.2021 value.

We're not quite at the 2019 Q4 pre-pandemic level of 104.4, but are getting there (We're down 1.1% from that level).

Source: https://fredblog.stlouisfed.org/2018/02/are-wages-increasing-or-decreasing

I tediously moused over point by point gathering the data from their graph (the numbers for each point pop up, so I didn't have to "read" the graph like back in middle school). Later: There's a "Download data" link at the lower left of the second graph at the Source that I had been aware of and had clicked and thought it was just downloading a PDF file of the page. But it turned out it was offering to download the Excel data for the graph which is of course what I wanted. So I did that and verified that the data was the same, to within 0.0 accuracy, as used for my graph, but I went ahead and replaced my old data with it (since it has a few more digits to the right of the decimal, and heck why not).

The source link just above also compares to inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings and also to inflation-adjusted median usual earnings of full-time workers.

This (the ECI) is reportedly the Fed's favorite wage and salary indicator as explained earlier in the post.
October 1, 2023

Amazon: "Important information about your Google Play gift card order"

Anyway that's the title of an email from [email protected] that I got about 30 minutes after placing an order for stuff (but not gift cards) at Amazon.

The email continues:

"Thank you for purchasing Google Play gift cards from Amazon.com.

We would like our customers to be aware of some important information relating to purchase of Google Play gift cards.

There are a variety of scams in which fraudsters try to trick others into paying with gift cards from well-known brands. To learn more about some common scam attempts that may involve asking for payment using gift cards please click on the button below, or alternatively contact us now (link)



I Googled and found some Reddit threads with postings like this:

Called Amazon through the app and had a waaaay long wait time. They assured me that the emails were a test to tell us to look out for emails like that.


One would think Amazon would send a follow up email and post something on their website. One would think wrong.



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About progree

Thanks for all the good wishes. A wellness check was done several days ago My next door neighbor of 43 years is looking out for me

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