Real Hourly Wages Rose Slightly Over Year Ending in April

(CN) – Real average hourly wages — meaning wages adjusted for inflation — increased 0.4 percent for private sector employees over the year that ended in April 2017.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said the uptick in real average hourly wages, combined with no change in the average employee’s workweek, resulted in a 0.3-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over the year.

Economists generally speak of what people earn in terms of “real wages” and “nominal wages.” Nominal wages are the actual dollars and cents a worker earns. Real wages, on the other hand, take into account what those dollars and cents can actually buy in terms of goods and services at any given time.

Real average hourly wages for production and non-supervisory employees increased 0.1 percent, seasonally adjusted, from April 2016 to April 2017, the government said.

The increase in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent increase in the average workweek for these workers resulted in an over-the-year increase in real average weekly earnings of 0.5 percent, it said.