How The Fed's Inflation Policies Crucify Workers In Pictures

Every month, pundits comment on average wages. But median wages best explain how the Fed's policies crucify workers.

The meme of the day is wage growth is accelerating.

On February 16, I reported Congratulations Workers! You Make One Penny More Than a Year Ago.

That penny more a year is by hour, in "real" inflation-adjusted terms. The calculation is from the BLS.

Nonetheless, the Fed is not happy with wage destruction.Various Fed presidents seek still higher inflation.

Inflation Targeting

Instead of using an inflation target of 2%, San Francisco Fed President John Williams proposes the Fed use a price-level target, that would allow inflation to run higher during expansions to make up for prior shortfalls.

We need that discussion, but in the opposite sense because the Fed’s insistence inflation in a disinflationary world has seriously harmed median and average wage earners.

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) from the BLS supports this view.

The following charts are from OES data downloads at the state and national level coupled with additional CPI data from the BLS.

Data for these charts are from May 2005 through May 2016. Those are not arbitrary dates.

The latest OES data is from May of 2016 and prior to May of 2005, the OES used varying months. Having all yearly data from May allows easy comparison of wages vs. year-over-year CPI measurements.

National Hourly Wages

Wage Differentials Mean vs. Median Hourly Wages by State

Every month, analysts track the monthly jobs report for “average” wage increases. Such analysis is misleading because most of the benefits go to the top tier groups.

This behavior is not unexpected, but it makes it very difficult for the bottom half of wage earners who do not own a house, to buy a house.

The median wage rose from $14.15 in 2005 to $17.81 in 2016, a percentage increase of 25.9%.

The median new home price rose from $228,300 in 2005 to $335,400 in 2016, a percentage increase of 46.9%.

Rising Tide Lifts All Boats?

Some claim that a rising tide lifts all boats but, the median wage earner is falling further and further behind. This contributes to asset price chasing and “better buy now” philosophies as happened in the housing bubble years.

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Dean Gilmore 3 years ago Member's comment

I don't believe the Fed can create wealth.

Duanne Johnson 3 years ago Member's comment

The fed is all about protecting the banks and nothing else. Worker's wages suffer as a result.

Alexa Graham 3 years ago Member's comment

Is that the job of the #Fed?

Texan Hunter 3 years ago Member's comment

These images say it all.

Old Time Investor 3 years ago Member's comment

What do you suppose would have happened had Nixon not closed the gold window in '72?