Real or inflation-adjusted U.S. hourly wages jumped by 0.6% in November after basically no change in the prior two months, bolstered by rising pay and falling gasoline prices, the government reported Wednesday. The increase matched a similar gain in August. The surge in real wages was spurred by a 0.3% increase in hourly earnings and a 0.4% decline in the consumer price index. Yet despite the big gain last month, real hourly wages are up just 0.8% in the past 12 months. Consumers will need to see further gains to encourage them to spend more and boost the economy.
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