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May 18, 2006
Rise in Consumer Prices Partially Offsets Wage Gains

Despite a 0.6 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), inflation-adjusted average weekly earnings rose in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Inflation-adjusted, or real, average weekly earnings rose by 0.2 percent from March to April after seasonal adjustment. A 0.5 percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3 percent increase in average weekly hours was partially offset by a 0.6 percent increase in the CPI-W. It was the biggest rise in the CPI-W since January.

Average weekly earnings rose by 4.1 percent, seasonally adjusted, from April 2005 to April 2006. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased by 0.4 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $565.45 in April 2006, compared with $537.94 a year earlier.

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