How much money we're making – October 2020
Bottom Line: In today's third story breaking down the employment report we'll look at what ordinarily is the fun stuff...how much more money we're making. The news was simply outstanding in September. For those who are working full-time, they’re back to earning record high incomes on an annualized basis. The average hourly wage for all Americans is currently $29.47. With an average work week of 34.7 hours, the average income is now $53,176. That’s $154 dollars more than a month ago and exciting as we continue to add jobs across all demographics. In all but one month since the recovery from the lockdowns began, employers have brought back employees at the same level of income or even better, to what they were earning when the lockdowns hit and hours worked per week are also on the rise. That’s the best possible news.
For those who have work right now, they’re generally doing about as well as ever.
Here are the details:
- Hourly earnings up 2 cents per hour
- Average earnings +5.8% year over year
- Average person in the workforce is earning $2,929 more than a year ago
This remains a case of the haves and the have nots. If you’re employed there's a good chance you’re earning as much or more than you’ve ever earned. What continues to be encouraging is the strength of wages in the face of the recovery. As more people go back to work, you’d expect wages to decline a bit, especially with hospitality jobs leading the way this month. That’s not the case.
The average person in the workforce who is employed, and was a year ago, is earning nearly 6% more – that's extremely strong. It also points to another encouraging trend. Despite isolated cases, companies, industries – which have pushed pay decreases through for those who’ve remained employed...most haven’t. Additionally, we’re seeing furloughed employees come back to work at the same rate of pay as before the pandemic. This is an encouraging indicator that most businesses believe the economic harm of the virus will be temporary and they want to retain their employees – rather than risk losing them to other companies through pay decreases. If this holds and we can continue to make progress in future months, there’s reason for optimism as we head down the home stretch of 2020.