Real Wages Up 2.2 Percent Since September ’05, Will Media Notice?

October 18th, 2006 1:17 PM

One of the continual carps of the media concerning the current economic expansion has been that only low-paying jobs are being created that aren’t keeping up with inflation. Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday:

Average weekly earnings rose by 4.0 percent, seasonally adjusted, from September 2005 to September 2006.  After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased by 2.2 percent.  Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $571.89 in September 2006, compared with $549.86 a year earlier.

One would expect this to be welcome news to Americans. Alas, it is unlikely they will hear about it, because the media don’t report economic data that go counter to their view of the world.

Quite the contrary, as reported by the Business & Media Institute, when positive news about inflation-adjusted earnings was released by the Census Bureau in August, the press largely ignored it. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien even reported the exact opposite finding in a September 4 interview with Labor Secretary Elaine Chao: “But in fact, aren’t some of those jobs that are being created are low-skill jobs and jobs that don’t pay as well, so what ends up happening is yeah, you’ve added jobs to the rolls, but they’re not as good as the jobs that the people are actually losing?”

When Chao refuted this assertion, O’Brien stuck to her guns, “saying that workers weren’t seeing much money:  ‘…as far as money that you get to bring home to buy groceries, no. You’re not seeing anything more in your pocket.’”

With that in mind, does anybody believe that this fabulous news – coming less than three weeks before Election Day – is going to get widely reported this evening? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?