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January 18, 2006
Inflation-Adjusted Wages See Slight Bump

Inflation-adjusted, or real, average weekly earnings rose by 0.1 percent from November to December after seasonal adjustment but were still down for 2005, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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A 0.3 percent decline in average weekly hours was offset by a 0.3 percent rise in average hourly earnings and a 0.1 percent decline 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 3.1 percent, seasonally adjusted, from

December 2004 to December 2005. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings decreased by 0.4 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $551.67 in December 2005, compared with $536.74 a year earlier.

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