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November 20, 2006

Wages Rise At Fastest Pace In Nearly A Decade

Blame Bush.

Oh, wait. That's last month's snark.

Thank Nancy Pelosi.

She's manipulated the laws of time and space to effect changes in wages over the course of the past year.

American paychecks are rising again at a pace not seen since the 1990s. ADVERTISEMENT

The pay increase amounts to 4 percent on average over the past 12 months, and it comes at a very helpful time for millions of households.

For three years, pay increases haven't kept pace with the rising cost of living. Then came this year's housing slowdown, which has further squeezed family finances.

Those setbacks, however, are now being offset by rising income. Four percent may not sound like much, but you have to look back to 1997 to find a calendar year with a gain that big.

Equally significant, tamer energy prices mean that the "real" wage gains, after inflation, are above 3 percent for the past 12 months. That, too, hasn't happened since the 1990s, even though the economy has been expanding over the past five years.

"The striking feature of this expansion has been that ... real wages for the typical worker haven't risen that much," says Richard Berner, US economist at the investment bank Morgan Stanley in New York. But with real incomes rising, he says, "you get a picture of an economy that can weather this housing storm."

The risk of recession hasn't disappeared, he and other economists say. But with a fairly tight job market and low unemployment, many expect that paychecks will keep rising solidly in 2007.

Doesn't this mean that Bush is currently responsible for a faster wage rise than Clinton was in the last three years of his Presidency, also known as the Crowning Halo of the Miracle Economy?

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posted by Ace at 03:52 PM

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