The Labour Force Survey for August showed that average hourly wages were up by just 1.4 per cent from a year earlier, the same low level of increase as was registered in July. Consumer price inflation was 2.7 per cent in July, a bit down from 3.1 per cent in June and 3.7 per cent in May, but it seems that we have entered a period of falling real wages.
The picture is not much brighter if one looks at average weekly earnings, a function of hours worked and hourly wages. Average weekly wages in both July and August were up just 1.7 per cent from a year earlier.
If this trend continues, it is likely to further undermine a weak recovery, negatively impacting upon consumer spending and perhaps serving as the tipping point to deflation of the housing bubble.