June 4, 2021

Average  hourly earnings climbed 0.5% in May to $30.33 after having  jumped 0.7% in April.  The year-over-year increase currently is 2.0% but the  year-over-year change is significantly distorted by the big jump in earnings in April of last year caused by the initial round of stimulus checks.  A more accurate assessment of what is going on is by looking at the increase in hourly earnings in the past three months which is 4.4%.

Average weekly earnings rose 0.5% in May to $1,058.52 after having risen 0.7% in April.  Weekly earnings have risen 2.6% in the past year but, like average hourly earnings, the best gauge of what is going on is the 3-month average increase which equals 7.9%.

Stephen Slifer

NumberNomics

Charleston, SC