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June 15, 2005
Wages Rebound as Consumer Prices Drop

Inflation-adjusted wages rose in May for the first time since January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

After adjustment for changes in consumer prices, average weekly earnings rose by 0.3 percent from April to May. This was due to a 0.2 percent increase in average hourly earnings and a 0.1 percent decline in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Average weekly hours were unchanged.

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Average weekly earnings rose by 2.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from May 2004 to May 2005. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings decreased by 0.3 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $543.42 in May 2005, compared with $531.42 a year earlier.

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