Wages Are Up—for Workers With Jobs

Avg. weekly pay hit $618 last month, up from $612
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 16, 2009 6:41 AM CDT
A customer uses a CitiBank ATM in Palo Alto, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – For those with the good fortune to have a job, wage growth has actually increased in recent months, government surveys show. From the fall of Lehman Brothers last September to this June, average weekly pay stayed at $612. But since June, the workweek has gotten longer and hourly pay growth has increased. Average weekly pay hit $618 last month, writes David Leonhardt  in the New York Times.

“Even though unemployment has reached its highest level in 26 years, most workers have received a raise over the last year,” Leonhardt notes. In fact, “in the job market, at least, the recession’s pain has been unusually concentrated." There's less churn than usual; those who are unemployed stay that way longer, but few are still being laid off, and most companies "have evidently decided that pay cuts aren’t worth the downside."