BLS: Real Wages Declined in 3rd Quarter; Down 3.2% Under Obama

By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 1, 2013 | 10:47am EDT

President Barack Obama (AP Photo)

( - The real median earnings of both men and women dropped in the third quarter of 2013 and are down 3.2 percent since President Barack Obama took office in the first quarter of 2009, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In non-inflation-adjusted dollars, Americans who worked full-time for a wage or salary had median usual weekly earnings of $775 in second quarter of 2013 and $777 in the third quarter. In current dollars that was $2-per-week increase. However, when adjusted for inflation, median earnings actually declined from the second to the third quarter, according to BLS.

BLS tracks median earnings not only in current dolalrs but also in constant 1982-84 dollars. Using that inlation-adjusted measure, full-time American wage and salary workers earned a median of $334 per week in the second quarter of this year, but only $333 per week in the third quarter.

Real median weekly earnings dropped for both male and female full-time workers during the quarter. The median weekly earnings for men dropped from $372 in the second quarter to $368 in the third, and the median weekly earnings for women dropped from $304 to $302.

When Obama took office in the first quarter of 2009, median weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers was $344. At that time, the median weekly earnings for men were $384 and the median weekly earnings for women were $304.

Thus, overall real median weekly earnings dropped by $11 between the first quarter of 2009 and the third quarter of 2013 (from $344 to $333). That is a real decline of 3.2 percent.

Men’s real median weekly earnings have dropped $16 dollars since Obama took office (from $384 to $368). That is a real drop of 4.2 percent.

Women’s real median weekly earnings have dropped $2 since Obama took office (declining from $304 to $302). That is a real drop of 0.66 percent.

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