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This Measure Of Wage Growth Just Hit A Post-Recession Record


The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's wage growth tracker shows the median US worker's wages rose 3.4% year-over-year in April—a new high for this expansion.

Bespoke Investment group says the Atlanta Fed’s wage tracker gives a better snapshot of wage growth than the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ average hourly earnings report, which put April’s wage growth at 2.5% year-over-year.

The Atlanta Fed report tracks how wages change for the same individuals over time, while the BLS report would show that wage growth declined, for example, if a Baby Boomer retired and was replaced by a Millennial working for less pay, Bloomberg reports. 

"While the effect described above is usually not a big deal, when labor force flows are very large, there can be an effect," writes Bespoke, adding “the number of workers who moved from not in the labor force to employed or from employed to not in the labor force in the last 12 months was in the 98.7th percentile since 1990; in other words, very high.”

Top economists are mixed on whether the Fed will move forward with its June rate hike—a decision where wage growth will be one of many factors. [Bloomberg]