Timely Data on Median Wages
A reader complains that timely data on median real wages are not available on a timely basis (as compared to average real wages). What does this purportedly suppressed data indicate about the evolution of real wages?
Figure 1: Year-on-year growth in average hourly earnings in private nonfarm payroll sector (blue), and median hourly wage (red), all deflated by CPI-all. Median is 3 month moving average of y/y growth rates. NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS, Atlanta Fed Wage Tracker, NBER, and author’s calculations.
Note that the Atlanta Fed calculations for April 2023 data were released yesterday (May 11, 2023). I think that’s pretty timely.