Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 41972
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2018/08/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2006/2/23 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:41972 Activity:high
2/23 (

        Americans are buying monster condos as second and third
        vacation homes at a rate never been seen. Dare to say
        Bushconomy isn't working?
        \_ it's working for rich dudes
           \_ So what is wrong with that? The rich got richer through
              Reagon's new tax cut initiatives in the 80s. Money trickled
              down to the poor, stimulating an economic boom never been
              seen in the history of US. Unfortunately the Clinton
              administration unfairly took credit for it all. Why do
              you hate rich people? Are you a communist?
           "Real wages in the US are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years"
           \_ Interesting.  For 2005, real wages were flat to a decline of 0.1
              percent.  This article was posted in May 2005.  Note that more
              recent numbers show real wages increasing.
              \_ where do you get flat to -0.1%, and is that for the time
                 period of Jan 1 2005 to Jan 1 2006?
                 \_ That would be Shelby TN and Greene MO.
                 \_ I heard "flat to -0.1%" on a radio financial show.  I
                    haven't found a URL to support it.
                    \_ "real compensation for 2005 was essentially unchanged--
                       down 0.2% and the worst year on record" according
                       to the link below.  radio guy was probably
                       talking about real compensation, not real wages.
              \_ Table B.
                 (Year/change in real hourly compenasation for business)
                 1996/0.8       1999/2.7        2002/1.8        2005/1.7
                 1997/1.1       2000/3.5        2003/1.6
                 1998/4.6       2001/1.4        2004/1.9
                 Manufacturing swings much more wildly, and this excludes
                 government compensations, which is probably more stable.
                 Since none of the above sources quote actual bls references,
                 I have no idea how they derived their claims.  However,
                 unfortunately as per norm, the doomsayers are more grand
                 verbiage and bad statistics than truth.
                 \_ compensation != wages
                    unfortunately as per norm, the dubya-lovers are more
                    grand verbiage and bad statistics than truth.
                    \_ Yes, compensation > wages.  And it's pretty shifty
                       to draw conclusions based on 2 hand picked quarters.
                       Consider the graph on [bls]
                       for a better quarterly compensation (not real,
                       seasonally compensated) picture.
                       \_ what are the beginning and ending quarters you are
                          talking about?
                          \_ Epi compares 2004q4 to 2005q4.
                             \_ you mean the most recent annual data, or is
                                that beginning of Q4 to beginning of Q4, and
                                perhaps government fiscal quarters?
                                \_ One year hardly a pattern forms.
2018/08/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

You may also be interested in these entries...
2013/8/1-10/28 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:54722 Activity:nil
8/1     Suppose your house is already paid off and you retire at 65.
        How much expense does one expect to spend a year, in the Bay
        Area? Property tax will be about $10K/year for a modest $850K
        home. What about other stuff?
        \_ I think at age 65, health insurance is the next biggest expense.
        \_ I am thinking that we can have a nice middle class
2013/7/31-9/16 [Reference/RealEstate, Finance/Investment] UID:54720 Activity:nil
7[31    Suppose you have a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank earning
        minimum interest rate and you're not sure whether you're going to
        buy a house in 1-5 years. Should one put that money in a more
        risky place like Vanguard ETFs and index funds, given that the
        horizon is only 1-5 years?
        \_ I have a very similar problem, in that I have a bunch of cash
2013/3/11-4/16 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:54622 Activity:nil
3/10    I'm trying to help my parents, in their mortgage there's an
        "escrow" amount. What exactly is this? From reading Google,
        the loan company uses the escrow account to pay for home
        insurance, but they've been paying home insurance themselves.
        I'm really confused on what this fee is.
        \_ Without an escrow account, you write checks to your insurance
2013/2/19-3/26 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:54610 Activity:nil
2/19    I just realized that my real estate broker has a PhD in plant
        molecular cell biology from an Ivy League school in the mid 70s.
        Now she has to deal with a bunch of young dot-comers, and they're
        pain in the ass.                        -Only a BS in EEC$
        \_ My agent used to be a hardware engineer.  He switched to real estate
           when he got laid off during the 80's.  Now he's doing very well.
Cache (3642 bytes) ->
com) - My, my, look how they've grown -- condos are ballooning to unprecedented sizes all over the United States. The trend to mega-condo construction mirrors that of new single-family homes, which have expanded 60 percent in three decades, to an average of about 2,400 square feet, up from 1,500 square feet in 1970. State by state: Stats on 1,300 places In Las Vegas, an 8,000 square foot plus penthouse went for $9 million last year, as did a 6,000 square foot place on the Potomac in DC In Florida, a developer is selling 20,000 square foot apartments. "The large apartment at big dollars is outperforming every other segment of the market," says Pam Liebman, CEO of the Corcoran Group, one of New York's leading real estate brokerages. "In 2005 we doubled the number of $10-million-plus apartments we sold over 2004, which itself was 78 percent higher than 2003," she says. When hotels go condo) , Corcoran has about 20 floor-through apartments available of 4,000 square feet or more. "We've already had 80 people through, looking at these apartments," Liebman says. Lifestyle choice Why are the people snapping up these monster condos? It's more than just the affluence of today's buyers, it's also the lifestyle these condos offer, says one interested observer, Paul Boomsma, executive vice president for Luxury Portfolio. "People are looking for lower maintenance living," says Boomsma. "New condo developments continue to offer more and more lifestyle amenities. Many of the monster condo dwellers are those who, 15 years ago, would have bought the big house in the suburbs or country. Now, they want a place close to the office and to where the action is. "They're not eager to do the yard work anymore," says Winifred Gallagher, author of "House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live." It's not just convenience and simplicity, however, buyers of really impressive places have something else going on as well. "Similar to McMansions, oversized condos are status displays," says Gallagher. When you get where you're going, no one knows who you are. One way to proclaim your status is to live in a large, expensive piece of property." Crime and residence In urban centers, the choice has become more compelling as crime rates have fallen. City dwellers no longer flee to the suburbs en masse to escape muggers. "Across the country downtowns have been reinvigorated and become destination points for 24-hour living," says Jonathan Miller, a founder of MillerSamuel, a real estate research provider. Downtowns are fashionable, convenient, and fun again, and the condo lifestyle lends itself to the surroundings. They are becoming popular even in cities that never had much of an upscale downtown residential section before, according to Boomsma, places like Reno and San Diego. But it's in places like Manhattan, the last great bastion of the sub-300 square foot, studio apartment, where the luxury condo apartment has reached its zenith. Several years ago New York developers noticed that many people were buying the apartments next door and combining them, according to Miller. "The developers started saying, 'Let's build bigger apartments,'" he says. That has sent the size of the average new Manhattan condo from 1,188 square feet in 1996 to 1,421 in 2004, according to Miller. Many of the monster condos, both in center cities and in resort areas, are bought as second or even third homes. An owner may have a main residence in Chicago, a ski vacation condo in Aspen, and a winter home in Palm Beach. "They want the same kind of space in their second and third homes as they have in their primary residence," says Liebman.
Cache (2561 bytes) ->
com) - Americans are buying homes that are bigger and contain more luxury features than ever. By some accounts, the million-dollar-plus home is now the strongest segment of many housing markets. Pamela Liebman, CEO of The Corcoran Group, a leading real estate brokerage in New York City, Long Island, New York and Florida, says, "A lot of money is going into high-end housing. A lot of those desires have filtered down from the luxury home market to more mundane residences. That has contributed to a jump in single-family home prices of more than 13 percent this past year. The median US home now costs about $214,000, according to the National Association of Realtors. Leading the pack The largest areas of million dollar homes cluster in and around big coastal cities and posh beach and mountain resort communities. Among states, California had the highest percentage of million-dollar homes the last time the Census Bureau reported; That was almost double the percentage of four years earlier. As housing continued to boom throughout 2004 and much of 2005, the number of million dollar homes in California has, undoubtedly, climbed considerably. Low million-dollar home areas were concentrated in the prairie states and the South. In expensive Santa Monica, it might only buy a two bedroom teardown on a vest-pocket lot. In much more reasonable Dallas, on the other hand, it could buy a 5,000 square foot mini-estate with six bedrooms, five baths, in-ground pool and spa. Home improvement Americans practically everywhere continue to make their homes bigger and better. Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies reported in January that we spent nearly $150 billion, a new record, on home improvement in 2005. Low mortgage rates fueled the home renovation mania, according to the Joint Center report. Many homeowners refinanced their loan when mortgage rates cratered and some owners took out extra cash to pay for home improvements. Mortgage rates have been on a slow upward trajectory lately however, which could lead to fewer cash outs and home renovations, as well as a dampening effect on home prices. It would seem that the factors that have led to a big increase in the number of million-dollar homes will be lessening. median home prices in the second half of 2005 grew much more slowly than the first half. The forecast for 2006 home prices from the National Association of Realtors calls for much more modest increases, more in the mid-single-digit range. Even that will be enough to send some properties over the edge into million-dollar status.
Cache (3072 bytes)
Financial Times Real Wages Fall at Fastest Rate in 14 Years by Christopher Swann in Washington Real wages in the US are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years, according to data surveyed by the Financial Times. Inflation rose 31 per cent in the year to March but salaries climbed just 24 per cent, according to the Employment Cost Index. In the final three months of 2004, real wages fell by 09 per cent. The last time salaries fell this steeply was at the start of 1991, when real wages declined by 11 per cent. Stingy pay rises mean many Americans will have to work longer hours to keep up with the cost of living, and they could ultimately undermine consumer spending and economic growth. Many economists believe that in spite of the unexpectedly large rise in job creation of 274,000 in April, the uneven revival in the labor market since the 2001 recession has made it hard for workers to negotiate real improvements in living standards. Even after last month's bumper gain in employment, there are 22,000 fewer private sector jobs than when the recession began in March 2001, a 002 per cent fall. At the same point in the recovery from the recession of the early 1990s, private sector employment was up 47 per cent. There is still little evidence that workers are gaining much traction in their negotiations, said Paul Ashworth, US analyst at Capital Economics, the consultancy. If this does not pick up, it raises the prospect of a sharper slowdown in consumer spending than we have been expecting. Economists are divided over the best source for measuring pay increases in the US, since the government releases three main measures. A gauge of average hourly earnings is released with the employment report. This rose by 03 per cent in both March and April and 01 per cent in February. The gauge covers non-supervisory workers, about 80 per cent of the workforce. The Bureau of Economic Analysis figures for personal income showed wages rising at close to 6 per cent in 2004 but slowing down since. This measure also showed wages rising by just 03 per cent in each of the past 2 months. This is a broader gauge and includes small businesses and professional partnerships, but it measures total corporate wage bill rather than wages per person. The Employment Cost Index, seen by some as the most reliable measure, excludes overtime and professional partnerships. E-Mail This Article FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
Cache (1838 bytes) ->
com) - Real wages are not exactly going through the roof. For the 24-month period through the second quarter of 2005, the inflation-adjusted wages of an average American grew just 1 percent or so, according to statistics reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). State-by-state income stats Despite overall sluggish wage growth, there are still areas of strength; the majority of the 316 largest counties in the United States -- those with employee rolls of 75,000 or more -- reported average wage increases that outpaced inflation for the 24 months ended June 30, 2005, the latest county data available from the BLS. Forty four of the counties had real wage growth of 3 percent or more during the period The BLS data is derived from summaries of employment and total pay of workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance legislation. The data has not been adjusted for changes that employers later reported to the BLS. Among the large counties, wages were highest in New York, New York, where they averaged $1,350 per week, 74 percent higher than two years ago. New York compensation grew at a pace greater than the inflation rate of 59 percent. The county where wages grew the fastest was Collin County, Texas, north of Dallas, where mean wages grew by more than 16 percent over the 24-month period and real mean wages increased by nearly 10 percent. But in Clayton County, Georgia, outside Atlanta, weekly wages fell to $745 from $779, a drop of more than 4 percent -- nearly 11 percent when inflation is factored in, the worst performance in the nation. The only other county that reported negative wage growth was King County, Washington but when inflation was added to the calculation a total of 105 of the large counties recorded lower mean real wages. Here's a look at how all the largest counties are faring.
Cache (8192 bytes)
gov/lpc/ Historical, technical information: (202) 691-5606 Current data: (202) 691-5200 Media contact: (202) 691-5902 PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages for 2005 The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor today reported preliminary productivity data--as measured by output per hour of all persons--for the fourth quarter and for the full year 2005. In both sectors, the fourth-quarter productivity decline was the first since the first quarter of 2001. When the annual averages for 2005 were compared with annual averages for 2004, productivity rose 26 percent in the business sector and 27 percent in nonfarm businesses. On an annual average basis, output per hour in the manufacturing sector posted a 48-percent increase in 2005. Output and hours in manufacturing, which includes about 13 percent of US business-sector employment, tend to vary more from quarter to quarter than data for the aggregate business and nonfarm business sectors. Output measures for business and nonfarm business are based on measures of gross domestic product prepared by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the US Department of Commerce. Quarterly output measures for manufacturing reflect indexes of industrial production independently prepared by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. See Technical Notes for further information on data sources (page 8). THIRD-TO-FOURTH QUARTER CHANGES, 2005 Business Productivity in the business sector decreased by 02 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, reflecting increases of 10 percent in output and 12 percent in hours of all persons (seasonally adjusted annual rates). Output per hour had increased 52 percent in the third quarter of 2005, as output increased 48 percent and hours decreased 04 percent. The fourth-quarter decline in business sector productivity was the first since the first quarter of 2001, when it fell 05 percent. Hourly compensation grew 32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from a 46-percent increase one quarter earlier. This measure includes wages and salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee-benefit plans, and taxes. Real hourly compensation, which takes into account changes in consumer prices, was unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2005, after declining 05 percent in the third quarter and 40 percent in the second quarter. Unit labor costs, which relate hourly compensation to output per hour, increased 34 percent in the fourth quarter. Business sector unit labor costs had declined in the two previous quarters; Nonfarm business In the nonfarm business sector, productivity decreased 06 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, as output grew 09 percent and hours of all persons grew 15 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). Productivity had increased 45 percent in the third quarter of 2005, reflecting a 47- percent rise in output and a 01-percent rise in hours of all persons (table 2). Hourly compensation in the nonfarm business sector rose 28 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, following a 41-percent increase in the third quarter. When changes in consumer prices were taken into account, real hourly compensation declined 04 percent during the fourth quarter of 2005. This was the third consecutive decrease in this measure--real compensation per hour declined 10 percent in the third quarter and 31 percent in the second quarter of 2005. Unit labor costs increased 35 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, after falling 05 percent in the third quarter and 12 percent in the second quarter. The implicit price deflator for nonfarm business output increased 32 percent in the fourth quarter, after increasing 35 percent one quarter earlier. Manufacturing Manufacturing productivity grew 39 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2005 as output increased 84 percent and hours increased 44 percent (table 3). In the third quarter, manufacturing productivity had increased 37 percent, reflecting a 26-percent rise in output and a 10-percent decline in hours. Among nondurable goods manufacturers, productivity decreased 10 percent in the fourth quarter as output rose 21 percent and hours at work increased 32 percent (table 5). Average hourly compensation of manufacturing workers increased 19 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, reflecting increases in hourly compensation of 12 percent in durable goods manufacturing and 29 percent in nondurable goods manufacturing. When the increase in consumer prices was taken into account, real hourly compensation in total manufacturing fell 13 percent. Unit labor costs for the manufacturing sector fell 19 percent in fourth- quarter 2005. In durable goods manufacturing, unit labor costs fell 64 percent, and in nondurable goods manufacturing unit labor costs increased 40 percent. ANNUAL AVERAGE CHANGES, 2004-2005 Business Business sector productivity increased 26 percent when the annual average for 2005 was compared with the annual average for 2004 (table B). Output increased 40 percent and hours of all persons engaged in the sector rose 13 percent. The 26-percent increase followed a 2002-2004 period with above-average annual productivity growth of 38 percent, and is more in-line with the productivity trend from 1995 to 2001, 27 percent. Unit labor costs in the business sector rose 25 percent in 2005, more than in any year since 2000, when this measure grew 40 percent. The implicit price deflator for the business sector rose 26 percent in 2005 and 24 percent in 2004. Nonfarm business Productivity increased 27 percent in the nonfarm business sector in 2005, reflecting increases of 41 percent in output and 14 percent in hours. Like the more comprehensive business sector, nonfarm productivity from 2001 to 2004 had grown at an above-average rate-- 37 percent. Productivity had been growing at an annual rate of 25 percent from 1995 to 2001. In 2005, hourly compensation increased 52 percent, following a 45- percent rise in 2004. When the increase in consumer prices was taken into account, real hourly compensation rose 18 percent in both 2005 and 2004. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased 24 percent in 2005--more than in any year since 2000, when unit labor costs increased 42 percent. The implicit price deflator for nonfarm business rose 28 percent in 2005 and 21 percent in 2004. Manufacturing In manufacturing, labor productivity rose 48 percent in 2005, as output grew 38 percent and hours of all persons declined 09 percent (table B). Productivity increased 54 percent in 2004, reflecting a 50-percent output increase and a 04-percent decline in hours. There was a 66-percent increase in durable goods manufacturing productivity in 2005, as output increased 63 percent and hours edged down 02 percent. Output per hour increased 29 percent in nondurable goods manufacturing, as output rose 07 percent and hours fell 21 percent. Hourly compensation of manufacturing workers increased 66 percent in 2005, more than the 22-percent growth rate in 2004, but lower than the 83- percent increase in 2003 and the 73-percent increase in 2002. In 2005, hourly compensation rose 64 percent in durable goods manufacturing and 70 percent in nondurable good manufacturing. Taking into account the rise in consumer prices, real hourly compensation in manufacturing rose 32 percent in 2005 and fell 05 percent one year earlier. Unit labor costs in manufacturing rose 17 percent in 2005, after decreasing 31 percent in calendar year 2004; Unit labor costs in durable goods manufacturing fell slightly in 2005, 02 percent, compared with a 40-percent rise in unit labor costs in nondurable goods manufacturing. Revised Measures Current and previous measures for the third quarter of 2005 for the business, nonfarm business, and manufacturing sectors are compared in table C In the business and nonfarm business sectors, productivity and output growth in the third quarter were lower than reported on Dec. In both of these sectors, hourly compensation also grew more than reported in December. Hourly compensation was revised up and productivity was revised down, both contributing to a decline in unit labor costs in the...
Cache (2205 bytes) ->
Printer Friendly Version Wages Picture January 31, 2006 Real compensation down, as wage squeeze continues Both wages and compensation for the average worker are lagging inflation, according to today's Employment Cost Index (ECI) release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total compensation--wages plus benefits--grew 31% between 2004q4 and 2005q4, the same rate of growth as the previous quarter. And because inflation grew 34% over the year, real compensation fell by 03% from 2004q4 to 2005q4. The deceleration in compensation growth is due to slower growth in both wage and benefit costs. Benefits grew 45% compared to 2004q4, down from 51% last quarter and the slowest rate of growth since 2001q2. Wage growth ticked up slightly, from 23% in 2005q3 to 26% last quarter. The Wage Squeeze and Higher Health Care Costs ), some commentators have been arguing that real wages are falling because rising health care costs force employers to plow more compensation into health benefits. While benefit costs are of course rising, they are doing so considerably more slowly than in recent years, in part due to diminished employer-provided health care coverage. But regardless, total compensation--that is, pay and benefits combined-- is still lagging inflation, despite continued strong productivity growth. On average, nominal wages rose 24% in 2005, the lowest annual result on record for this series, which began in 1982. With average inflation up 34% for the year, real wages fell 09%. After rising 11% in real terms for full-year 2004, real compensation for 2005 was essentially unchanged--down 02% and the worst year on record. The ECI is a particularly broad measure of labor costs, covering all civilian workers (except those in federal government). In that regard, these results reveal the breadth of the unprecedented gap between the pace of overall economic progress and the returns to working people. Readers may redistribute this material to other individuals for noncommercial use, provided that the text, data, and all HTML code remain intact and unaltered in any way. This article may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission.
Cache (166 bytes) ->
DOL Seal - Link to DOL Home Page US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Photos representing the workforce - Digital Imageryy copyright 2001 PhotoDisc, Inc.
Cache (1285 bytes)
An Election Day advance 5:07pm: Stocks trim some gains, but remain upbeat for second session as investors eye bond rally, crude oil decline, earnings. Real estate: Babes in bear land 4:31pm: Most Realtors haven't been in the business long enough to see anything but a boom market, and the current slump is new to all but a handful of industry veterans. MySpace Voters MySpace Voters Young voters are being targeted by politicians through social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Elections and trade policy Elections and trade policy CNN's Lisa Sylvester examines the effect a change of power in Congress would have on trade policy. Community Classifieds Community Classifieds Business 20 editor Erick Schonfeld talks with Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, about why the service is the next disruptor. Batteries that never die Batteries that never die CEO Arthur Chait talks about EoPlex's newest creation: A device that lets batteries recharge with rubbing alcohol. Vietnam gets nod from WTO Vietnam gets nod from WTO The World Trade Organization formally invited Vietnam to become the 150th member. Call center culture Call center culture A new movie examines how the culture evolving around American built Indian call centers is clashing with traditional Indian values.
Cache (5660 bytes)
Earnings premium for skilled workers down sharply The earnings of college graduates have consistently been higher than those workers with a high school degree, but the gap between the two has shrunk considerably in recent years as "skilled workers" earnings have declined sharply since 2000. How does this trend figure into the so-called skills shortage debate or the trend of growing inequality? Bush's Tax and Budget Policies Fail to Promote Economic Growth The economic evidence is clear: the president's tax changes have not worked to improve the health of the economy. Business investment, employment, and wages have all underperformed similar periods in the past. A new report by the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for American Progress shows that tax cuts for high-income individuals, for businesses, and for income from capital gains and dividends have not led to more investment, more jobs, or better growth. Moreover, the president's budget policies put at risk the future health of the nation by running massive deficits and by cutting back on important national investments in education, science, and energy. The economic impact of local living wages Prior to the passage of living wage laws, initial studies of their impact predicted high costs to local governments, employers, and consumers, as well as a loss of jobs for low-income earners. But the most reliable research on living wage ordinances belies these predictions, showing that these ordinances benefit working families with little or no negative effects. Worker Centers Immigrant Worker Centers Immigrant workers are changing the landscape of low-wage work and the labor market, with President Bush advocating a guest-worker program, Congress pushing increased border security and patrol. But as national policy is debated, a locally based grassroots movement is taking the initiative to assist millions of immigrants in the American workforce facing poor pay, bad working conditions, and few prospects to advance to better jobs. Worker Centers--Building Communities at the Edge of the Dream (EPI's new book co-published with Cornell University) takes one of the first comprehensive looks at the rising phenomenon of worker centers, fast-growing institutions that improve the lives of immigrant workers through service advocacy and organizing. Oil prices, Chinese imports drive trade deficit to new record The US Department of Commerce today reported that the international deficit in goods and services trade reached a record level of $726 billion in 2005, an 18% increase over 2004. Unemployment falls and wages rise The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the nation's unemployment rate fell to 47%, the lowest rate since July 2001. But the pace of job growth and real earnings continue to lag that of past recoveries. Real compensation down, as wage squeeze continues Both wages and compensation for the average worker are lagging inflation, according to this report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Note to Fed: Don't base the rate hike on capacity utilization The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is expected to raise the federal funds interest rate for the 14th consecutive time. But is the Fed using the right yardstick for measuring its inflationary fears? The wage squeeze and higher health care costs Wages of most workers' fell last year. Some would say this is due to the rising costs of employer-provided health care, yet nearly half the workforce lack this benefit. What's more, total compensation has continued to decline for most workers, while corporate profits have continued to grow strongly. In other words, the recent squeeze on wage growth appears to be coming much more from profits than from health care costs. It's not just autos: GDP numbers show weakness in most sectors Auto sales saw the biggest slow down, but weakness in the economy was seen across the board in a report released today by the Commerce Department. Why people are so dissatisfied with today's economy In recent weeks, incumbent politicians have bragged about growth in GDP, jobs, and pay and touted declines in unemployment. Yet most Americans rate the economy as only "fair" or "poor," and they believe it's only getting worse. Why People Are So Dissatisfied With Today's Economy, tackles some common misconceptions regarding trends in jobs, wages, unemployment, and tax cuts that help explain the current disconnect. Pulling Apart, by the Economic Policy Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The report includes fact sheets for 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Global Class War The Global Class War A provocative new book called The Global Class War, by EPI founder and former president Jeff Faux, explains how globalization is creating a new global political elite--"The Party of Davos"--who have more in common with each other than with their fellow citizens. Learn more about the book and Jeff Faux's upcoming book signing appearances. The boom that wasn't (updated) Since 2001 President Bush and congressional leaders have promised that enacting each of a series of tax cuts would strengthen the economy by bringing faster growth, more jobs, and greater investment. With Congress again debating whether to extend past tax cuts and enact new ones, it's time to review how much the last four years of tax cuts have affected the US economy and budget outlook. The Boom That Wasn't--The economy has little to show for $860 billion in tax cuts, examines a broad range of measures to show how this economy's performance compares poorly to past averages. This Briefing Paper has been updated to include third quarter 2005 data.