Why Wages Rose Faster Than Expected

November's job report shows surprising increases in hourly earnings.

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November's dismal jobs report shows that average hourly earnings increased by 7 cents, or 0.4 percent. (In the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 3.7 percent.)

Here's one explanation, from David Greenlaw and Ted Wieseman, of Morgan Stanley Research:

"The average hourly earnings gauge rose a better than trend 0.4% in November. However, we strongly suspect that the upside reflects a shift in the mix of jobs. In other words, lower paid workers are bearing the brunt of the job loss at this point and this tends to push up the overall average wage of the remaining workers."


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