Friday, November 8, 2013

Soaring Nominal Wages?

CNN/Money ran a story that makes me what to scream:
Over the last generation, pay for some professions has risen much faster than the overall rate of inflation.
Since they do note consumer prices have increased from 1983 to 2012 (by a factor of 2.31), how hard it would have been for them to express these increases in real terms? I guess it is no surprise that the median wage for doctors have risen over the last 30 years – nominally by 276% but that represents a real increase of only 63%. OK, I have no pity for these impoverished doctors. But when CNN/Money tells us that some professions have seen wages rise by 170% - that’s also in nominal terms and represents only a 17% real increase. I’m glad that hotel clerks and firefighters haven’t suffered real wage erosion like some professions, but stories that tout the allegedly enormous increase in nominal salaries are just stupid.

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