Sometimes you have to dig a bit and analyze the numbers to get a sense of how the pandemic is affecting working people in this country.
A good case in point is the monthly report on average weekly wages. This is part of the overall data used to truly understand how the labor market is functioning. Too often, we rely solely on the Employment rate which is helpful but not a complete picture. We also have to look at vacancy rates and then measure wages to see if demand for labor rising or falling which prompts employers to offer more or less in pay packets.
What we found in the latest numbers is truly interesting. In April, the average weekly wage in this country went up even though millions had lost their jobs. These figures also include overtime so hospital workers along with those in seniors’ homes and retail outlets like grocery stores contributed to the rise.
But the most important element was the fact that those at the lower end of the income scale were more likely to be laid off. So lower paid jobs fell off the tally while higher paying ones remained.