US real wages fall at fastest rate in 14 years

Don’t have to tell me, brother, I know. Good news for American workers everywhere (and really good news for our gilded age bossman overlords). Soon, we’ll be able to achieve a level of “prosperity” that would please a Pakistani brick maker.

Real wages in the US are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years, according to data surveyed by the Financial Times.

Inflation rose 3.1 per cent in the year to March but salaries climbed just 2.4 per cent, according to the Employment Cost Index. In the final three months of 2004, real wages fell by 0.9 per cent.

The last time salaries fell this steeply was at the start of 1991, when real wages declined by 1.1 per cent.

Stingy pay rises mean many Americans will have to work longer hours to keep up with the cost of living, and they could ultimately undermine consumer spending and economic growth.

The war on inflation’s necessary corrollary is a decrease in our standard of living. I, for one, am tired of it.