CHART OF THE DAY: A Swirlogram Of Wage Growth

This scatter chart plots the year-over-year change in average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees — a common measure of wage growth — along the x-axis and the monthly change in this measure (i.e., acceleration or deceleration) along the y-axis.

It begins with data from October 2012, when wage growth was 1.28%, the lowest level on record. By February 2013, it had accelerated to 2.04%. Then, wage growth stumbled until turning up again in May, and by October, it hit a multi-year high of 2.27%.

However, in recent months, it has decelerated slightly, and now stands at 2.21%.

Going forward, wage growth could become a key input to monetary policy. Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius believes the Federal Reserve should place more emphasis on wage growth and less on consumer price inflation in its analysis of the amount of slack in the labour market.

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