Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The curious case of the missing $800 billion

James Pethokoukis points us to an astounding observation by economist Mike Darda of MKM Partners:

Wages and salaries advanced at a 5.4% annualized rate after rising at a 6.5% rate in Q3. After adjusting for prices, real wage and salary income rose 4.5% A.R. in Q4 after a 3.9% annualized rise in Q3. Real wages and salaries are up 3% y/y, the fastest annual rate of increase since 3Q07...

Unfortunately, due to the depth of the 2007-2009 recession, wage and salary income is still 11% below its pre-crisis trend. This fact is reflected in the still-low employment/population ratio for prime age adults (25-54) and the still-high level of underemployment and near-record level of long-term unemployment. So, while the recent data are encouraging, there is a long way to go.

Pethokoukis adds: "Fun coincidence: The missing wage and salary income, $800 billion, is about the same as the cost of the Obama stimulus."

No comments: