President Joe Biden claimed on Tuesday that wages have been rising faster than consumer prices for several months.
Biden stated this during remarks at the White House: “And all of this means that, for the last several months, wages have gone up more than prices have gone up. Wages have gone up more than prices have gone up,”
Average hourly and weekly wages increased by more than the rate of inflation in November, but this was the first time they had done so significantly since August. Wages and inflation rose at nearly the same rate in September and October.
Average hourly earnings increased by 0.5 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, reflecting a 0.6 percent increase in hourly earnings and a 0.1 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index. The average workweek, on the other hand, shrank slightly, falling to 34.4 hours from 34.5 hours. After adjusting for inflation, average weekly earnings increased by only 0.2 percent.
Both average hourly and weekly wages are significantly lower than a year ago. Real average hourly wages are down 1.9 percent from a year ago, despite a 5.1 percent increase in unadjusted wages and a 7.1 percent increase in the price index. Real weekly wages have fallen by 3%.