US workers’ wages hit lowest level in 17 years
Wages at the nation’s lowest-paid workers, including retail and service workers, fell in August for the third straight month, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS said the drop in median weekly earnings for full-time workers fell from $2,100 to $1,500 in August, its lowest level since January 2007.
The decline in median earnings for part-time and seasonal workers was the biggest drop since the data began in January 2003.
The median earnings, excluding overtime pay, fell from a median of $1.20 in August 2007 to $907 in August 2016.
The drop in the average weekly earnings was among the largest in a decade.
In recent months, the average hourly wage for full time workers has risen more than 6 percent to $21.40.
That was a sharp increase from a 6 percent increase in wages in the fourth quarter of 2016.
However, the BLS reported that hourly wages for part time workers have dropped 0.9 percent to a median wage of $13.65 in August.
The trend in part-timers’ wages has been driven by seasonal workers who are taking longer to earn their regular pay.
The data also shows the BSA has lowered its growth forecast for total private-sector jobs over the next three years from 3.1 percent to 3.0 percent.
The government also has been working to ease a recession that has hit the U.S. manufacturing sector hardest.
However the Trump administration has said it will increase domestic production, a move economists say could hurt the U,S.
Wage stagnation in retail and other service industries have been a persistent theme in the BSL.
Data from the BPS show the median hourly wage fell from about $24 in 2014 to $23 in July 2016.
That rate has declined over the past two years.
In addition, the median wage in the service sector has been on a downward trend since 2016, but it fell slightly in August from a year earlier, according the BIS data.