Real Earnings Rise In U.S. In May

Adjusted for inflation and the time of year, average weekly earnings in the U.S. rose three-tenths of a percentage point last month, the U.S. Labor Department reported on June 15. The increase was a product of a two-tenths percent increase in average hourly earnings and one-tenth percentage point decline in the department's Consumer Price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers. The average number of hours worked each week was unchanged from April, the department said.

Not adjusted for inflation or the season, average hourly earnings for production and non-supervisory workers on private non-farm payrolls were $16.03 and average weekly earnings were $543.42.

Production and non-supervisory workers in manufacturing earned an average of $16.48 per hour in May, making their average weekly earnings $665.79, not adjusted for inflation or the season.

Those figures were below the averages for construction and mining, which together with manufacturing, constitute the goods-producing sector of the U.S. economy. Average hourly earnings in mining in May were $18.61 and in construction were $19.32. Average weekly earnings in mining were $857.92 and in construction were $751.55.

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