Raises are booming in South Florida even if it’s not accurately reported

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Raises are booming in South Florida – even if it’s not always reflected in the news

Bottom Line: Your daily doses of nonsense in the media and my takes on them (on hold for today)... 

Excerpt: South Florida industries are booming — from construction to accounting to engineering. But workers’ wages haven’t seemed to budge. 

That’s despite windfall tax savings this year for corporations, which have been spent mostly on stock buybacks and dividends. 

Now, economic data on a national, state and local level indicates that wages are moving up. South Florida has been outpacing much of the nation in job growth, and workers should start seeing pay increases by year’s end, if they haven’t already, economists say. 

Employers are being forced to pay more to retain and attract workers in a hotly competitive market, recruiters say. Their workers aren’t waiting for an annual pay raise to roll around — they’re jumping ship. 

In August, U.S. average hourly earnings were up 2.9 percent from one year earlier, the fastest pace since June 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Florida, the average hourly wage increased 3 percent in July. August numbers are not yet available. 

Wells Fargo senior economist Mark Vitner pointed to average weekly wages in South Florida, which were above the national numbers in March. Broward’s average weekly wages were up 4.9 percent over the year; Miami-Dade County’s were 4.5 percent; and Palm Beach County were 3.1 percent. 

Hot Take: This story is mostly correct, even if it attempts not to be at times. There’s a direct conflict in this story. This line: But workers’ wages haven’t seemed to budge. That’s despite windfall tax savings this year for corporations, which have been spent mostly on stock buybacks and dividends.  

And this... 

In August, U.S. average hourly earnings were up 2.9 percent from one year earlier, the fastest pace since June 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Florida, the average hourly wage increased 3 percent in July.  

So. which is it? This is what happens when you borrow talking points from politicians on the left and mix it with actual facts. I addressed these points on Monday. I pointed out that the average hourly earnings are up 2.9%, higher in Florida and well over three 3% once bonuses are factored in. What’s more is once the benefit of the tax cuts is factored in the average increase in net take home pay is 6.7%. The best in 32 years. Doesn’t exactly fit the narrative that wages aren’t rising, and the tax cuts have only led to increased buybacks and dividends (which are great as well for our economy and the 52% of Americans who own them). On Monday I’ll share an updated view of exactly how companies have allocated the benefits of the tax cuts – because it’s not even close to accurate to suggest that buybacks and dividends have consumed the lion’s share of the corporate benefit.  

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