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Why No Wage Increases: More Than Half Of Jobs Added In February Were Lowest-Quality, Lowest-Paying

It has become a running joke: month after month after month, the punditry says wages hikes are coming...  they are coming any second, just be patient. And month after month the punditry refuses to accept the simple reason why not even the BLS' goalseeked data does not permit this long awaited wage surge to take place - simply said, the quality of jobs (or rather "jobs" as these are all merely 1s and 0s that only exist in some BLS spreadsheet) added every month is absolutely atrocious, so bad that not even the BLS' actuarial tables allow its goalseek program to attribute higher wages to the "jobs" it creates out of thin statistical air.

Ironically moments ago US labor secretary Thomas Perez said that the "quality of jobs is going up."

No it isn't, as anyone who spends even two minutes with the BLS report can find out.

Don't have two minutes? Here is the full breakdown. As the chart below shows, the three biggest single-category jobs added in February (because Professional services includes numerous occupations), were also the three lowest quality, lowest paying ones:

  • Leisure and Hospitality, added 66K jobs
  • Education and Health added 54K
  • Retail trade added 32K

Together these three job categories accounted for 152K jobs, or more than half the total February job gains. They also represent the lowest paid jobs in the US.

And that's why there is no wage increase.

All this in chart format.

Source: BLS