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Graphic Economics

A collection of graphic representations of data by CEPR researchers on important economic issues.



The Latest Jobs Report and Wage Growth Print

March 6, 2015

Reported wage growth for February was weak, as expected, following a large reported gain in January. Taking the average for the last three months compared to the prior three months, the annual rate of growth was just 1.8 percent, down from 2.0 percent over the last year. The data on wage growth continue to indicate there is still a large amount of slack in the labor market. There is some evidence of more rapid wage growth in the lowest paying sectors, which is to be expected as workers can increasingly find better jobs elsewhere, but higher-paying sectors continue to show very weak wage growth.

 

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Labor Force Participation Rate, Men and Women, Age 25-54 Print

February 6, 2015

Labor force participation rates of prime age workers are still far below pre-recession levels.

While the unemployment rate edged up, the overall EPOP also rose, hitting 59.3 percent, a new high for the recovery. However this is still 3.7 percentage points below the average for the year before the recession. Contrary to what is frequently claimed, most of this decline is due to prime age workers (ages 25-54) dropping out of the labor force. That reversed the pre-recession trend, in which the percentage of both prime age men and women in the labor force had been rising. The number of people involuntarily working part-time was little changed from December but was 453,000 below its year-ago level. Voluntary part-time is up by 535,000 from a year ago. Another positive item was that the percentage of unemployment due to people voluntarily quitting their jobs hit a recovery high of 9.5 percent. This is still far below the rates of more than 11 percent before the downturn and more than 14 percent in the 1990s boom.

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Decline in Military Spending Contributes to Slowdown in GDP Growth Print

January 30,1015

The slowdown in fourth quarter GDP was predictable as third quarter growth was driven in part by a 16.0 percent jump in military spending. Military spending is highly erratic and sharp swings are usually reversed, as was the case in this quarter.

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More in this month's GDP Byte.

 
December Wage Data Reverses November Gains Print

January 9, 2015

The November jump in wages was almost completely reversed last month, with the December data showing a 5 cent drop from a downwardly revised November figure. The average over the last three months grew at a 1.1 percent annual rate compared with the average of the prior three months, down from a 1.7 percent growth rate over the last year. This may be due in part to a shift to lower paying jobs in restaurants, retail, and the lower-paying portions of the health care industry. However, it is also possible that we are just seeing anomalous data. Nonetheless, the claims of accelerating wage growth have no support in the data.

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Nominal Year-over-Year Wage Growth Print

December 5, 2014

The average workweek increased by 0.1 hour to 34.6, the longest since May of 2008 and wages reportedly rose by 9 cents. The one-month jump was in large part an anomaly; over the last three months wages have risen at just a 1.8 percent annual rate compared with the prior three months. There is little evidence of any wage acceleration in any major sector. More in the latest Jobs Byte

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