How much (more) money we're making – April 2019
Bottom Line: In today's third story breaking down the employment report we'll look at the fun stuff...how much more money we're making. The average hourly wage for all Americans is currently $27.70. With an average work week of 34.5 hours, the average income is now $49,694. That’s an increase of $216 over just a month ago.
Here are the details:
- Earnings are up +4 cents per hour
- +3.2% year over year
- Average person is earning $1,579 more than a year ago
Next to the near record low unemployment rate for blacks, this is the best part of this month’s employment story. We’re still making more than 3% more than we were a year ago and hours worked bumped up a touch too. So, we’re making more money and able to work slightly longer hours. That’s a win-win. Anything above 3% year-over-year gives us the ability to grow the economy by greater than 3% this year. So, is economic growth slowing? Yeah probably. But does it have too? Not if we keep earning this kind of money. There’s good news here and I'm more optimistic today than I was on Friday.
Through a combination of 3.2% raises, bonuses and the benefit of the tax cuts the average person has nearly $3,500 more to show for their same work today compared with just over a year ago. With consumer spending making up about 70% of the US economy – it's obvious why the economy has been strong and there’s enough here to see that there’s still room for optimism going forward.
It’s never the case that the headline unemployment rate and jobs added or lost will tell the whole story, but that’s especially true this month. Last month I said we’d rebound from February’s report in March. Check. I said we’d have upward revisions. Check. I mentioned the partial government shutdown was overblown. Check. Look for continued momentum in April. Look for continued momentum in April. Plus with lower interest rates after the fed said they were done raising rates, housinghas been picking up again. There’s a recipe for a strong second quarter.