Part 3: How much (more) money we're making:
Bottom Line: In today's third story breaking down the employment report from Friday we'll explore real incomes. The average hourly wage for all Americans is currently $26.22. Here are a couple of highlights:
- +3 cents per hour from April
- +2.5% year over year
- Average hours worked - 34.4 (flat)
The good news is that we're continuing to see increased wages sequentially and year over year. Additionally, the average work week maintained while getting those decent increases in compensation. What's still evident however - is that it's going to be near impossible to facilitate sustained 3%+ growth in the economy until/unless we see wages grow by at least 3% year over year. With about 70% of the US economic growth coming from consumer spending, we need to see real incomes improve by 3%+ to expect 3%+ economic growth which hasn't occurred since 2005.
The upshot is that we're see gains within striking distance of that desired 3%+ level if we do get meaningfully improved policy out of Washington (healthcare/taxes). This should be added motivation for the politicians to get the job done. If we have a 3% plus growth economy when the next election cycle roles around - most of the other political narratives circulating right now will likely take a back seat to the "it's the economy stupid" concept. It's an exciting thought that has me crossing my fingers. Until next month...