Congratulations Workers! You Make 13 Cents More Per Hour Than You Did In 1973

Yesterday the BLS reported on hourly wages and real (inflation-adjusted) hourly wages. Let's see how you are doing.

Hourly Earnings for February 2021

Hourly Earnings and Real Hourly Earnings 2021-02B

The above table is courtesy of the BLS

February 2021 Details 

  • Average hourly earnings rose from $28.51 to $30.01, an increase of $1.50 an hour. 
  • You only saw $0.38 of that because inflation-adjusted wages only rose from $11.02 to $11.40.
  • Real average hourly earnings declined in the last two months.
  • Hooray! In January your weekly pay rose. However, you had to work more hours to get that because you lost money on a per-hour basis.
  • Boo. In February your weekly pay declined by a full percentage point because your real pay per hour declined and you also worked fewer hours on average.

Congratulations On Your 13 Cents!

I downloaded all the data and calculated how much more you are making today per hour, on average, inflation-adjusted back to the beginning of the data series in 1964. 

Since January 1973, real wages for production and supervisory workers rose by 13 cents per hour. 


In nominal terms, the average production and supervisory worker made $4.03 in 1973 which the BLS says was really worth $9.44. 

This has to do with the inflation index date set to 1982-1984 at 100.

Anyway, spend your 13 cents per hour increase wisely because home price are not even in the CPI. 

For discussion, please see Inflation Fears Recede After Another Tame CPI Report, Pause in the Storm?

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Irena R. 1 month ago Member's comment

Thanks for sharing)