Employment Cost Index data for June, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, confirms what workers’ paychecks have already told them and other data have already indicated: wage growth imploded in early 2009. The new report reveals that private sector workers’ wages grew at a 1.3 annual rate over the last six months, just half of the growth rate over the prior twelve months. One surprise in today’s BLS report is that wages among managerial, professional and related occupations did not grow at all in the most recent quarter: this does not reflect loss of bonuses or incentive pay because there was no wage growth among those not eligible for such pay as well.
“This astounding slowdown in wage growth has now penetrated every corner of the workforce, leaving its mark on workers up and down the wage scale,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute. “Unless and until wage growth improves, we will not have the fuel we need to fire up a robust economic recovery.”