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Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell arrives for a news conference on September 26, 2018. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference on Wednesday that "broader" measurements of income are better, but declined to comment on the White House's alternate proposal to calculate wage growth.

Flashback: Powell called tepid wage growth puzzling in recent months. The Council of Economic proposed its own methodology — accounting for non-cash benefits (bonuses, paid time off and health benefits) and a different measurement of inflation — which showed strong wage growth. That was before paychecks grew in August at a rate we haven't seen in almost a decade.

The Fed monitors a range of wage indicators. Speaking to reporters after the Fed announced it would raise rates for the third time this year, Powell cited accelerating pay as an example of a "particularly bright moment" for the economy. But some analysts argue that higher rates could erase any wage gains consumers have seen.

  • "Wage growth — finally it has accelerated a bit, but it's still a shadow of its former self. Especially after adjusting for inflation, which has picked up," Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told NPR.

What to watch: The September jobs report next week, when we'll get another read of paycheck growth (and possibly, a revision of last month's number.)

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
49 mins ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.