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We can expect Bush to be trumpeting soon how the average American's wages have gone up during his regime despite the fact that few of us have seen this going on with our paychecks. It appears that one set of numbers shows wages as going up because it conflates stock options which don't get awarded to anyone on the low end of the food chain with salary.

The rest of the article is at the URL, this is something WSJ didn't put behind the subscription wall.


How Stock Options Muddle
The Relationship Among Wages,
Corporate Profits and Inflation

September 18, 2006; Page A2

Scorekeepers at the Commerce Department last month discovered that
American workers were earning far more than previously estimated -- and
that created an economic puzzle.

The new data were out of step with other measures showing sluggish wage
growth, a factor in widespread worker dissatisfaction turning up in the
polls. And the increased income wasn't matched by more production --
that is, in gross domestic product -- as it should have been.
. . .
The answer appears to be stock options, a growing part of compensation
for top-end workers. Accounting for them properly has been a major
source of controversy for companies. Now it is complicating the
government's economic accounting, as well.

Last month, the BEA declared that labor income for all Americans in the first half was an annualized $95 billion, or 1.3%, more than it had estimated just a month earlier. This suggested Americans were flush with cash, welcome news for those worried about a slowing economy, but it also raised inflation alarm bells.

Yet another hit-and-run diary for me, it's 3:09 AM. . . I'll try to get back to this in the morning.

Originally posted to alizard on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 03:11 AM PDT.


Do you get stock options?

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