We hear the campaign rhetoric when one side says the economy is on the uptake and new jobs have been created, etc, etc,....and then we hear the other side screaming and yelling that jobs have been lost and wages are stagnant, etc, etc, etc.
You try to do a little research, taking notes as you go, within many pages of the US Department of Labor press releases, etc, and you find that they are reporting that 29% of households are in the lower bracket of less than $25,000 per year pre-tax income. That 45% of households are in the "middle class" with pre tax incomes of $25,000 to $75,000, and 26% of households are in the "upper" income bracket of over $75,000 annual, pre tax. Really informative, huh. Looks like someone is playing awful loose with numbers, to me.
They also report a "median" "household" income of about $44,000, and an "average" hourly wage of $15.70.
Wage figures (hourly earnings) cover only about 80% of the private-sector workforce, EXCLUDING supervisors, managers and ALL government employees, self-employed persons and business owners.
The figures on household income include not only wages, but income from many other sources, including interest, dividends, bonuses, and earnings from self-employment and owner-operated businesses.
Data on average weekly earnings are collected from the payroll reports of private nonfarm establishments. Earnings of both full-time and part-time workers holding production or nonsupervisory jobs are included. Average weekly earnings are calculated by adjusting earnings in current dollars for changes in the CPI-W.
After they get done.... "calculating and adjusting".... , they say that average weekly earnings rose by 2.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, from July 2003 to July 2004. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings declined by 0.7 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $526.94 in July 2004, compared with $515.27 a year earlier.
This from my notes. It would take a full page or more to attempt to try to "link" to everything, and it still wouldn't tell us average folks anything, or help us to really understand what "they" are saying. I'm left to wonder if any of "them" really believe they are establishing any kind of fact that tells anyone what the real world is really doing.
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