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November 17, 2005
Wages Rise as Consumer Prices Increase at Slower Pace

Inflation-adjusted average weekly earnings rose by 0.4 percent from September to October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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This increase stemmed from a 0.5 percent increase in average hourly earnings and a 0.1 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Average weekly hours were unchanged.

Inflation-adjusted, or real, average weekly earnings are calculated by adjusting earnings in current dollars for changes in the CPI-W.

Still, real wages are down in the 12-month period beginning in October 2004. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings decreased by 1.6 percent from October 2004 to October 2005. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $555.56 in October 2005, compared with $534.72 a year earlier.

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