U.S. Hourly Wages Flat In September, Up 2.2% In Past Year

The average hourly wage paid to American workers was basically unchanged in September, confounding once again expectations that pay will rise because of the rapid decline in the unemployment rate over the past few years. The typical worker earned $25.09 an hour last month, down a penny from August. From September 2014 to September 2015, hourly wages rose 2.2%. Annualized increases in pay have stuck to a tight range of 1.9% to 2.2% since 2012, well below the normal pace at this stage of an economic cycle. The amount of time people worked each week fell a tick to 34.5 hours in September. The labor-force participation rate slid to 62.4% from 62.6%, as 350,000 people dropped out of the labor force. That's the lowest level since October 1977.

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