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November 17, 2006
Wages Rise as Consumer Prices Fall

Inflation-adjusted, or real, average weekly earnings rose by 1.3 percent from September to October after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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The increase stemmed from a 0.3 percent increase in average weekly hours combined with a 0.4 percent increase in average hourly earnings and a 0.7 percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Real average weekly earnings are calculated by adjusting earnings in current dollars for changes in the CPI-W.

Average weekly earnings rose by 4.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, from October 2005 to October 2006. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased by 3.2 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $581.06 in October 2006, compared with $557.54 a year earlier.

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