The Spectacle Blog

4.4 Percent

By on 11.3.06 | 11:57AM

That was the ridiculously low unemployment rate for October--the lowest rate in five years. It corresponds with a booming stock market, low inflation, and solid economic growth. In addition to low unemployment, wages are up enough to trigger fears of inflation:

Workers' average hourly earnings climbed to $16.91 in October, a sizable 0.4 percent increase from September. That increase was bigger than the 0.3 percent rise economists were expecting. Over the last 12 months, wages grew by 3.9 percent.

Growth in wages is good for workers, but a rapid and sustained advance makes economists fret about inflation flaring up. That's not good for the economy or workers' pocketbooks, ultimately, because inflation can eat into everybody's buying power.

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